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Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off...
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From parrotfish that cover themselves in a blanket of their own mucus to tiny...
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Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom...
Coral reefs are bustling cities of marine life, until rising ocean temperatures...

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Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide it with food. Corals can...
The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but...
What are corals? Corals themselves are animals. But tropical reef-building...

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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...
This map shows where some of the most significant species of deep-sea corals are located. Learn more about the distribution and ecology of deep ocean corals in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep...
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...
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-...
Two large coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus ) swim through a coral reef on Taveuni Island in Fiji. Coral trout are highly desired fish for human consumption, and because of overfishing, are...
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...
One of the first signs of a sick coral reef is seaweed creeping across the corals, stealing their precious sunny real estate. Healthy corals, however, aren't completely hopeless: in some reefs, small...
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...
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...
Marine World Heritage is a prestigious list of 43 marine ecosystems and biodiversity treasures from across the globe, including countries such as Australia, Iceland, Russia, South Africa, 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...
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...
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...
On World Oceans Day - June 8th, 2012 - the Living Oceans Foundation hosted a live web-based conversation between Sylvia Earle at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and a team of...
Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square miles) of tropical ecosystems – from jungle and wetlands to beaches and coral...
Branching corals, because of their more fragile structure, struggle to survive in acidified waters that surround the volcanic CO 2 seeps of Papua New Guinea. Read more about how reef scientist...
Coral reefs provide food for swarms of fish, both large and small. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found on our Coral Reefs overview page .
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...
In this photo of a shallow coral reef in the Pacific there are three species of forams . On the left, Peneroplis planatus . In the center, Amphistegina lessonii . And on the right, Laevipeneroplis sp...
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