Fact Friday

Crown of Thorns Starfish

Crown-of-Thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), also known as COTS, are named for their long venomous spines that cover their body and up to 23 arms. These menacing predators eat living coral and (for obvious reasons) they have few natural predators. Sometimes COTS populations can explode and completely destroy the coral on a reef. Learn more in this short education video: 


Photo Credit: Ken Marks

Need Help?

Send us an email


Virtual Reality


Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as you dive into the fascinating world of coral reefs through our virtual reality experience! With an immersive and engaging learning experience, our virtual reality app is designed to take you on a field trip and help you master the concepts of our Coral Reef Ecology Curriculum like never before. Discover a world of exciting resources that will take you on a journey through the vibrant and diverse coral reef ecosystems. Are you ready to explore the depths of your knowledge? Let’s dive in!

Virtual Reef Expedition

Welcome aboard! Embark on a thrilling virtual reality expedition to explore the coral reefs of French Polynesia with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) and the University of Miami. As a coral reef ecologist in training, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the mesmerizing beauty of the South Pacific Ocean’s three main coral reef types: fringing reefs, barrier reefs, and atolls. In this immersive experience, you’ll learn about the fascinating zonation patterns that define each reef type, from the depths where light intensity and temperature change, to the areas where waves and water chemistry shape the location of specific organisms. You’ll be one step closer to becoming a coral reef expert by mastering the art of identifying reef zones and types. Join us for an unforgettable journey that combines education and adventure as we explore one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders.

Our Virtual Reef Expedition app is a valuable addition to our Coral Reef Types and Reef Zonation units and can be used as a standalone resource or in combination with our other coral reef curricula. Teachers can access lesson plans by logging in.

Access Our App