Coral Reefs

Corals are tiny animals that live in large communities made up of individual polyps that secrete a calcium carbonate substance that hardens and builds up to form the reef structure over time. There are different types of corals, such as brain corals and fan corals, that form different types of structures. The coral polyps live symbiotically with algae that provides them with their food. Disease, temperature extremes and pollution can cause corals to expel the algae, leaving only the white calcium carbonate skeleton behind, an event called coral bleaching. Coral bleaching is a worry with global warming heating up the oceans and carbon dioxide causing the oceans to acidify. Coral reefs are important ecosystems because they support larger communities of fish, mollusks, crustaceans and other sea creatures.
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Google Street View Unveils Two New Undersea Locations
image of car and whale sharks captured with street view
February 28th, 2014
Google street view has added an image of whale sharks and an underwater museum to a set of undersea images of the planet.
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Corals Trap Light to Help Algae Friends
A sensor measures oxygen in coral
February 12th, 2014
Corals rely on the photosynthesis of algae for oxygen. To make sure algae get the light they need, coral tissue traps and redistributes sunlight.
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Tiny Neighbors Keep Coral Reefs Clean
Gobies control turtleweed
January 10th, 2014
When coral reefs call, the goby fish come to the rescue.
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New Fiery-Red Coral Species Discovered in Peruvian Pacific
An image of coral species.
February 7th, 2014
In the clear waters off the coast of Peru, researchers have found a stunning new red coral species that was not previously described by scientists.
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Unusual Coral Reef Thrives in Acidified Waters
reefs
January 24th, 2014
A coral reef in the western Pacific Ocean has been found to grow well in acidic conditions, a finding that contradicts previous research underscoring the negative effects of ocean acidification on coral growth.
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Vivid Violet Coral Decorates Woodlands
Fungus Clavaria Zollingeri
November 22nd, 2013
Stunning coral is a widely-distributed species of fungus.
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