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The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far outnumber the...
If you look closely, you can read a message in the corals. We are not being...
The majestic and highly predatory red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) , native to...
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Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious...

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"While Komodo Island, Indonesia is famous for its giant prehistoric lizard, its underwater also holds unique marine species to treasure. The orangutan crab is one of them. With its maximum size of two centimeters, it felt like...
It's a pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ), found in Indonesia's...
In this photo of a shallow coral reef in the Pacific there are three species...

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It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is...
Rockfish, anemones, and other invertebrates inhabit this deep-sea coral reef in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. Deep-sea corals provide habitat and benefits to a...
When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos—that crisscross the African Savannah. Few would imagine that there could be more natural beauty on...
This forest of Christmas tree worms is a group of polychaete worms that live on tropical coral reefs. See more celebratory ocean creatures in our slideshow!
Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals...
Ocean scientists recently discovered this new species of black coral off the coast of southern California. It was named the “Christmas tree” coral, Antipathes dendrochristos , in 2005 because of its...
See a few of the many species of deep-sea corals that have been discovered by scientists just since 2004. Learn about more deep-sea discoveries in our Deep-sea Corals article.
If you look closely, you can read a message in the corals. We are not being metaphorical. Barry and Aimee Brown set out to search for hidden letters among brain coral colonies two years ago near the...
Beneath the sun shining through the Red Sea onto a hill of coral, butterfly fish ( Chaetodon lunula ), and angelfish swim together. The two fish can be confused for each other, but are distinguished...
A squat lobster and blackbelly rosefish find shelter on a Lophelia pertusa coral reef off the southeastern United States. The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible captured this image in 2009. Explore more in...
Each month, the Naked Oceans podcast invites a leading marine researcher to pick the "critter of the month" by asking: if you were a marine organism, which one would you be? This month, Dr. Nancy...
Much of the carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere ends up in the ocean. As CO 2 levels rise, seawater becomes more acidic. This change in chemistry poses a serious threat to marine organisms...
Black corals, like this one growing on the Manning Seamount off the New England coast, often resemble bushes or trees. Contrary to its name, the living tissue of black coral can be one of several...
This piece of pocillopora, or cauliflower coral , would normally have a rigid outer skeleton, but researchers dissolved it to expose the coral’s tissue and take a sample for DNA analysis. Read more...
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through their bodies. They are very common on Caribbean coral reefs, and come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is great...
Corals are not only found in shallow tropical waters, but in cold, dark, deep areas of the sea. Amazing coral forests are found at depths of 60-3,050 meters (200-10,00 feet). They support an...
A variety of organisms make their home on this tropical coral reef in Indonesia. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in the Coral Reefs section .
What are corals? Corals themselves are animals. But tropical reef-building corals have tiny plant-like organisms living in their tissue. The corals couldn’t survive without these microscopic algae–...
These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical obtained from a sponge that grows on deep-sea coral reefs. It prevents the cells from dividing and spreading. Learn more about...
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