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Gulf of Mexico coral

The Stars Are Out in the Deep Sea

Pale brittlestars coil their tentacles around a pink Paragorgia coral photographed during a dive in the submersible Alvin this week to the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico—1,500 meters below the surface and about 7 miles from the Deepwater Horizon well. Brittlestars are commonly found on these and other deep-sea corals. They don't harm the coral they cling to. Scientists think brittlestars climb on the corals to feed on particles suspended in the water. By doing so, they help clean the coral polyps. Follow the last days of the expedition to the Gulf on Dive & Discover.
(The Alvin Group)

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