Coral Reefs

FEATURES

Audio
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...
Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to the...
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (or the GBR as it is known to reef aficionados)...
Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific...

LATEST POSTS

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 variability in their size: some...
Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern...
Corals are sedentery animals, so how do they reproduce? One way is sexually...

LEARN MORE

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

The Ocean Blog

A sea lion in the Sea of Cortez observes Dr. Peter Auster as he observes reef fishes. Learn more about deep-sea coral reefs in our Deep-sea Corals article.
A marine scientist performs a genetic analysis on a sample of deep-sea coral to find out if it is a known species or one new to science. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our...
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...
The small larvae of elkhorn coral ( Acropora palmata ) settle and grow on the crustose coralline algae species Hydrolithon boergesenii .
In the X-ray image of this Viper Moray Eel ( Enchelynassa canina ), note the second set of jaws in the “throat”; these are the gill arches, which are present in all fish. Gill arches support the...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
A Coral Reef Watch satellite monitors the temperature of the world’s oceans. When ocean waters get too hot, corals release the microscopic algae that provide them with color and, more importantly,...
How biodiverse is one coral reef compared to another? To find out, in Spring 2012, Smithsonian scientist Chris Meyer his students in the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) course counted...
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...
The branches of a primnoid coral in the genus Calyptrophora provide a habitat for galathaoid crabs. Learn more about the deep-sea coral reefs in our Deep-sea Corals article .
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 reefs without...
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...
Tropical coral reefs—found in warm, clear, shallow waters—support a rich diversity of marine life, such as these sea bass in the Red Sea. Learn more in the Ocean Portal's Coral Reefs section .
How do we know what coral reefs looked like hundreds of years ago? Often times, we are simply left wondering. Scientists can get an idea from naturalist recordings, but there are many unknowns and...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Subscribe to Coral Reefs