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brittle star in ice

Star on Ice

A brittle star clings to a thin stalk of coral amid chunks of ice on the Indonesian research vessel Beruna Jaya IV. It was collected during a 2010 cruise to deep waters in the "Coral Triangle" between Indonesia and the Philippines. The shallow parts of this region host some of the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth, comparable to the Amazon rainforest. As a result of the surveys on this cruise—the first in the region with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV)—WHOI biologist Tim Shank and colleagues believe the deep seafloor there may also host the highest diversity and abundance of deep-sea corals in the world. (Photo courtesy of Tim Shank, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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