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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-...

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

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...
Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to the world that they are unexciting, ordinary and quite frankly, boring. However, if ever a misnomer existed, this is it. More...
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...
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...
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...
Tiny plant-like organisms called zooxanthellae live in the tissues of many animals, including some corals , anemones, and jellyfish , sponges, flatworms, mollusks and foraminifera . These microscopic...
Charles Darwin is so well known he almost needs no introduction. The 19th-century naturalist and geologist spent his life documenting and collecting information on the natural world . From birds to...
The long silver tool shown here is a piece of traditional Australian fishing gear called a “yabbie pump.” Researchers use the device to collect burrowing shrimp and other fast-moving animals from the...
Two events made me passionate about deep-sea corals . One was my first submarine dive in a deep-sea coral bed off the Hawaiian island of Oahu. There was an incredibly lush community of corals and...
Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill fish, is a practice used in many villages and isolated regions of the world. Hundreds of fish can be seen strewn across the...
Is it lights out for corals once they have experienced a bleaching event? Not necessarily. This photo shows a coral reef near Bocas del Toro, Panama that is in the process of recovering from a mass...
This purple urchin Paleopneustes cristatus is seldom seen by itself, and can be found in groups of hundreds. Dr. Dave Pawson , a senior scientist at NMNH who studies deep-sea echinoderms, is testing...
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...
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 ."
Flower-like clusters of polyps make up this coral colony. Their pink color comes from the zooxanthellae living inside. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
Tree corals like this Calyptrophora bayer can grow several meters high and resemble brightly colored trees. This deep-sea coral was found 1,683 m (5,522 ft) deep on the Davidson Seamount. See more...
Syllid fireworms are a part of the Syllidae family , which is a type of polychaete worm. Usually these small worms, not getting much bigger than 13 cm, live on the ocean floor. But when the worms...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but trawling has devastated the one at bottom. When fishermen trawl, they drag a net along the seafloor, destroying everything...
This photo of Kingman’s Reef in the Line Islands shows what a healthy coral reef should look like. The water is crystal clear. A variety of richly colored corals carpet the seabed. And a native...
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