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Picture of the Day

Hunkering down

After boring into this coral, a "Christmas tree" worm uses its feather-like tentacles to filter-feed microscopic creatures. Acidic ocean waters make it more difficult for corals to grow strong skeletons. In these cases, coral become vulnerable to colonization or destruction by other organisms. A recent study of corals near the submarine springs on the Caribbean Coast of Mexico showed that seawater with a lower pH significantly lowers concentrations of carbonate ions, the building blocks corals need to grow skeletons. Their work then revealed that when the ocean grows more acidic, corals become more vulnerable to disruption and erosion.

Visit Website | Image credit: Elizabeth D. Crook