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The Ocean Blog

A piece of the Institute For Figuring’s Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef known as the Ladies Silurian Atoll. The HCCR exhibit was on display in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian's National Museum...
Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme environments because we know so little about them, because they are important communities for so many deep-...
Shallow water coral reefs straddle the equator worldwide. The shallow coral reefs found in U.S. territorial waters are highlighted in purple in this map. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found...
Several species of deep-sea corals form a garden 165 m (540 ft) below the ocean’s surface off the coast of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the...
Reef sharks rarely get any love. These sharks, comprising several species, loiter around coral reefs, snacking on small fish, squids and crustaceans. And while their size is nothing to smirk at—5-10...
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...
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...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
This colorful coral lives in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. On the whole, this coral reef is the largest single structure built by living organisms and can be seen from space! Although more than one...
This 200-year-old bamboo coral colony is growing on the Davidson Seamount off the coast of California. The skeleton of this deep-sea coral has bamboo-like segments. See more pictures of coral in our...
Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so...
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 ."
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 ecosystems. Their...
GEOMAR scientist Armin Form works at his lab during a long-term experiment on the effects of lower pH, higher temperatures and "food stress" on the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa . In a previous...
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...
The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible launches to study cold-water corals off Florida in 2009. Explore more the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
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...
Black corals, like this one growing on the Manning Seamount off the New England coast, often resemble bushes or trees. Contrary to its name, the living tissue of black coral can be one of several...
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