Coral Bommies and Patch Reefs

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Navigation hazards are many in Hao Atoll, due to a myriad of submerged patch reefs that rise to the surface from the 60 m deep lagoon floor. These reefs are distributed in a seemingly random pattern. Some are circular and …

Rolling Stones

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Like other animals, corals need to reproduce to survive. Unlike most other animals, corals are attached to the seafloor and cannot move around to find a mate for coral reproduction. To address this challenge, corals have developed several alternative reproductive …

Reefs Around Rangiroa, Aratika and Raraka

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After two weeks, we’ve completed reef assessments around Rangiroa, Aratika, and Raraka and are now examining Fakarava. Tuamotu reefs are dramatically different from Society Islands.  Besides the near absence of crown of thorns seastars (we’ve seen a handful in the …

Investigating the Reef Slope

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For the last week, the Global Reef Expedition scientists have been diving and surveying the leeward side of fore reefs around Raiatea, French Polynesia, focusing their efforts on the reef slope. This particular reef community changes its structure along a …

Life, Death and Rebirth of a Coral Reef

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What comes to mind when thinking about a coral reef is a colorful undersea garden teaming with life: corals, fish, urchins, starfish,  molluscs, crustaceans, sponges and other animals and plants, many still unknown to science.  French Polynesia coral reefs should …

Corals in the Devil’s Crown

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After just one dive at San Cristobal Island, the team decided the water was too rough, so the Golden Shadow moved on. We woke Monday to overcast skies at Floreana, the southernmost of the five inhabited islands. Monday brought three dives …