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Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off...
Ultraviolet light illuminates the growth rings in a cross-section of a 44-year-...
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Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific...

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In this photo of a shallow coral reef in the Pacific there are three species of forams . On the left, Peneroplis planatus . In the center, Amphistegina lessonii . And on the right, Laevipeneroplis sp. Their colors come from the...
This deep-sea black coral from Hawaii ( Leiopathes sp. ) is more than 4,200...
These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical...

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Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one quarter of all ocean...

The Ocean Blog

Dr. Stephen Cairns is a research zoologist and chair of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the diversity,...
In November 2012, Australia began protecting a huge swath of its ocean from overfishing and oil exploration, creating the largest network of marine reserves in the world at a grand total of 1.2...
Species of deep-sea gold coral, or Gerardia , often have a tree-like shape, as you can see in this specimen. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
Several species of deep-sea corals form a garden 165 m (540 ft) below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the...
What is coral bleaching? These white corals in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary are bleached due to an increase in water temperatures, which causes corals to lose the...
A thicket of white stony coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) shelters a squat lobster (Eumunida picta). This is the typical shape of this widespread species of deep-sea coral. See more pictures of coral in...
Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor dives to deep-sea environments to study corals and the invertebrates that live in them. Learn how she became interested in deep-sea corals , and explore more in the multimedia...
Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom and gloom from the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. That is the time of year we typically study -- and celebrate -- the...
This coral reef in the Western Pacific Ocean was killed by human input of silt and sand from nearby islands reaching the coral reef habitat. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral...
From parrotfish that cover themselves in a blanket of their own mucus to tiny pygmy sea horses, there are some bizarre sea creatures that live in coral reefs . In this slideshow you can explore some...
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