More Corals

This deep-sea black coral from Hawaii ( Leiopathes sp. ) is more than 4,200 years old. Black corals are named for the color of their skeletons, but the external tissues of black corals come in many...
Coral sand is aptly named: it's sand made up of tiny bits of coral and other ocean animals such as foraminifera , molluscs, and crustaceans. This image, taken at 100x zoom, took 18th place in the...
Bacteria are everywhere in the ocean. They live in the water, on virtually every living and non-living surface, and even inside other organisms . There are 1 million bacterial cells in every...
An orange brisingid starfish sits on a large reef of Lophelia pertusa, cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico, at 450 m depth as a school of fish swims above. They have many arms—up to 20!—covered...
This specimen of the deep-sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus shows the visible bands that help marine scientists learn how ocean conditions changed over time. By looking at the thickness of each band,...
When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral...
It is easy to feel hopeless when reading the news coverage of ocean conservation. Between climate change , acidification , pollution and overfishing, it often feels like the ocean and its...
New, white growth emerges from a living deep-sea coral sample that was stained pink, enabling ocean scientists to measure its coral growth rate. Find out more about how ocean scientists study deep-...
A rockfish finds refuge in a deep-sea coral—a red tree coral of the Primnoidae family in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Learn more about deep-sea coral reef ecosystems in our Deep-sea...
Found 1,751 m (5,745 ft) below the surface of Hawaii’s waters in 2007, this orange bamboo coral is 1.2–1.5 m (4–5 ft) tall. It is thought to represent a new genus. Learn about more deep-sea...
A fan-shaped colony of red coral ( Corallium sp.) on the Davidson Seamount provides a perch for three basket stars as they feed. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
Marine scientists photographed and measured this gorgonian coral (Chrysogorgia sp.) and deep-sea shrimp (Bathypalaemonella sp.) just as they were collected—together. Find out how ocean scientists...
One of the first signs of a sick coral reef is seaweed creeping across the corals, stealing their precious sunny real estate. Healthy corals, however, aren't completely hopeless: in some reefs, small...
The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) SeaBed, shown here as it is about to be deployed, has been used to survey deep-sea fishes and coral habitats. Learn more about how underwater vehicles study...
A bright orange sea star ( Novodinia antillensis ) clings to a large white soft coral ( Paragorgia sp.). This photo was taken on the Manning Seamount at a depth of 1,350 meters (4,429 feet) by the...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
This colorful coral lives in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On the whole, this coral reef is the largest single structure built by living organisms and can be seen from space! Although more than one...
A variety of corals colonize the rocky surface of Manning Seamount, part of the New England Seamount Chain located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This photo was...
Subscribe to Corals