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Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the...
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For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef , you know...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
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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Scientists have been studying why populations of crown-of-thorns sea stars ( Acanthaster planci ) have mushroomed in recent decades. Coral reefs can suffer when the sea star's numbers explode because the echinoderm has a healthy...
Syllid fireworms are a part of the Syllidae family , which is a type of...
The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither...

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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...
A crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci ) on a reef in the Marianas Islands. An “outbreak” of these coral-eating starfish can decimate a reef, and they have done great damage on Australia's...
Two years after being covered in an oil substance, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, deep-sea corals were colonized by hydroids and their branches began to break off.
Coral reefs are bustling cities of marine life, until rising ocean temperatures turn them into ghost towns. Can reefs spring back from devastating bleaching events? In this episode of the Podcast of...
A coral ( Montastraea faveolata ) has just spawned. Each of the hundreds of polyps living in the colony releases a small pink bundle of sperm and eggs. Read more about coral spawing and watch a...
Convict surgeonfish ( Acanthurus triostegus ) are the roaming sheep of the reef but, instead of noshing on grass, they feed on algae. Their grazing helps to balance the growth of algae and coral on...
Unlike the shallow tropical coral reef pictured on the top, the deep-sea Oculina reef at bottom does not require sunlight. Learn more in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
The robotic arm of a Pisces submersible collects a gold coral colony ( Gerardia sp.) during a research cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. Ocean scientists have radiocarbon-dated some Gerardia specimens...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary comprises a fringing coral reef ecosystem nestled within an eroded volcanic crater on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. The 163-acre sanctuary—the...
A pair of French Angelfish ( Pomacanthus paru ) swim off the coast of Brazil. This species demonstrates a rare quality among ocean fish: mating pairs appear to spend extended time together, defending...
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...
It's a pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ), found in Indonesia's biodiverse Coral Triangle and one of the smallest seahorse species in the world! They can change colors like a chameleon to...
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...
These corals are dead—smothered in sediments and overgrown with algae. The reef is near Komodo Island in Indonesia. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
Sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are incredibly diverse and complicated systems. Because of this complexity, it can be a challenge to manage and protect reefs—and sometimes...
Overfishing and sedimentation have heavily impacted this reef off the western coast of Guam. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
Corals, sponges, and algae are the major components of most coral reef communities. To the untrained eye, they are sometimes difficult to tell apart. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in...
Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and...
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