Coral Reefs

FEATURES

Blog entry
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...
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...
Slideshow MORE STORIES Slideshow MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant ecosystems that house roughly one quarter of...

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

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...
An aerial photo of Carrie Bow Cay and the Smithsonian research station looking north with Twin Cays in the background. The Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Cay Marine Field Station supports research projects...
A squat lobster and blackbelly rosefish find shelter on a Lophelia pertusa coral reef off the southeastern United States. The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible captured this image in 2009. Explore more in...
Red coral necklaces fill a store display window. The United States annually imports around one million live coral animals from tropical reefs for use in aquariums, and is the largest documented...
A net used to trawl the ocean floor scooped up this large specimen of deep-sea coral. Because the ship was trawling for other species, the coral was discarded as bycatch. Fishing in deep-water...
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...
When you are shopping for gifts and jewelry, steer clear of gifts that use real coral or other marine animal products. Deepwater pink and red corals in particular have been prized for their beauty in...
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...
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...
“ This moray eel was resting among some hard coral and was mesmerized by my dive lights, making it a very cooperative subject. The moray eel rhythmically opens and closes its mouth to move water...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
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–...
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 the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one quarter of all ocean species depending on reefs for food and shelter. This is a remarkable statistic...
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...
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...
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...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
Subscribe to Coral Reefs