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Lauren Mullineaux and Susan Mills with coral specimen.

Corals Branching Out

WHOI biologists Lauren Mullineaux (left) and Susan Mills hold a specimen of Paragorgia, a species of coral that they collected for research from the summit of Manning Seamount in the New England Seamount chain. Until recently, deep-sea corals (this one was found at a depth of approximately 1,400 meters) were relatively unknown. But as scientists have explored further and farther, they have found corals living in deep places throughout the world’s oceans. Like their tropical cousins, deep-sea corals can be brightly colored and harbor a rich diversity of underwater life, including abundant commercially valuable fish. And like their tropical cousins, these deep corals are also threatened by human activity.
(Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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