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Consuming Coral

Consuming Coral

March 16, 2019

Gliding on hundreds of tiny suction-cup feet, A Crown-of-thorns sea star roams the reef, consuming immobile corals and leaving bare coral skeleton behind. Common in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Red Sea, their numbers can soar during outbreaks that leave large areas of reef empty of living coral. The starfish’s bright colors warn potential predators of their venomous spines, which can cause extremely painful wounds. (Photo by Konrad Hughen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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