New coral species found in Galapagos

Coral-discovered-in-Galap-002Scientists working in the Galapagos have found 3 new species of coral and one that had been thought to be extinct. The area they were researching was near Wolf and Darwin islands, which are in the north-east of the island archipelago. This area has apparently not been studied in detail since the 1970s.

The three new coral species are from the genera Hydrozoanthus, Parazoanthus and Antipathozoanthus. In addition, Honeycomb coral (Gardineroseris planulata) had been thought to have been wiped out in 1997/98 by the last major El Nino event but several colonies were found.

El Nino events raise sea water temperatures around the Galapagos up to say 30C., which can lead to the coral polyps ejecting the symbiotic algae that live within them. This leads to theĀ  coral dying and the resulting bleached reefs are very obvious. This recent research suggests that the algae may be adapting to warmer temperatures, which could be a small piece of good news for reefs everywhere.

The above picture is from the Guardian, and you can read more from their website.

About Neil Hambleton

I am a British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Advanced Diver and an Open Water Instructor. I have been diving since 1992, after joining South China Diving Club (SCDC), which is a Hong Kong-based branch of the BSAC. Having moved to New Zealand, I am now a member of BSAC New Zealand.
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