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For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef , you know that it’s an experience you are unlikely to forget. Coral reefs are among the world’s most magnificent...
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Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom...
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...

LATEST CATCH

"Macro shot of a whip coral goby, taken in Fiji during a trip to the Somosomo Strait," wrote Erwin Poliakoff of his image , a winning selection in the Portraits of Planet Ocean Flickr contest . Whip coral gobies ( Bryaninops...
This deep-sea black coral from Hawaii ( Leiopathes sp. ) is more than 4,200...
Giant clams are one of the many wonders of coral reefs. They can grow up to...

DIVE DEEPER

Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one quarter of all ocean...
"Macro shot of a whip coral goby, taken in Fiji during a trip to the Somosomo Strait," wrote Erwin Poliakoff of his image , a winning selection in the Portraits of Planet Ocean Flickr contest . Whip...
Colorful corals and brittlestars inhabit the Manning Seamount in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of New England. Here you can see golden-colored coral (Enallopsamia rostrata), pinkish-brown coral (...
Visitors to the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef temporary exhibit at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History saw both the main installation created by to the Institute For Figuring and the...
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...
A number of questions have inspired marine ecologist Stuart Sandin to head to the coral reefs of the Line Islands . Sandin works at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of...
This bearded fireworm ( Hermodice carunculata ) must have a strong stomach -- it’s sucking on fire coral ( Millepora sp. ), which would give the unlucky snorkeler a nasty sting. Encountered in St...
Branching corals, because of their more fragile structure, struggle to survive in acidified waters that surround the volcanic CO 2 seeps of Papua New Guinea. Read more about how reef scientist...
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...
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...
Check out the eyes on these Hawaiian squirrelfish ( Sargocentron xantherythrum )! Because squirrelfish are almost entirely nocturnal, they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as...
Scientists don’t often get the opportunity to travel through time. But nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that provides a glimpse today of what could be the...
Algae has overtaken this coral reef off heavily populated Kiritimati, or Christmas Island. Few fish swim in the murky waters. The causes include pollution, overfishing, and increased water...
We have arrived as the advanced scouting party to the scene of this year's field work location: Pemuteran, a small fishing village in northwest Bali. More importantly, we are sitting squarely at the...
by Laura Brodbeck A special type of marine protected area (MPA) called a “no-take zone” bans the removal of marine life from designated areas. At first glance, they seem like a hard sell to fishermen...
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...
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...
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–...
The “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef,” a unique exhibition and thought-provoking fusion of science, conservation, mathematics, and art, is on display in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian’s National...
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