New coral species discovered in Galapagos waters

This video is called White-tipped Reef Shark in the Galapagos.

From British daily The Guardian:

Scientists have discovered three new coral species – and one that was thought to be extinct – in an extensive survey of reefs around the Galapagos Islands, raising hopes that reefs may be more resilient to rising sea temperatures than previously thought.

Honeycomb coral (Gardineroseris planulata) had apparently been wiped out in in 1997-98 by the last big El Niño event. This natural periodic event affects weather globally and another is expected this year. But the study around the relatively unexplored areas of the coasts of Wolf and Darwin islands to the north-west of the main archipelago turned up several separate colonies. …

The three new coral species are from the genera Hydrozoanthus, Parazoanthus and Antipathozoanthus. They also found a fourth possible new species and other corals that were thought not to inhabit the waters around the Galapagos.

A team of geologists led by Cindy Ebinger of the University of Rochester have deployed 16 seismic sensors on one of the Galapagos Islands to study the processes of ocean island formation — particularly those that occur right above mantle “hotspots”: here.

Vanishing coral reefs, photos here.

3 thoughts on “New coral species discovered in Galapagos waters

  1. Rare coral found off Palm Beach shores

    SONJA ISGER Palm Beach Post

    9:03 a.m. EDT, October 1, 2009

    Riviera Beach – Excitement is brewing this morning about a patch of life no one knew was flourishing within a mile of the Town of Palm Beach shores.

    Scuba divers stumbled across a previously undiscovered field of the rare Staghorn coral – a species on the Endangered Species List since 2006.

    Palm Beach County Reef Rescue plans to discuss the find at a press conference at 9 a.m. at the Riviera Beach Marina.

    “This may likely be the largest stand of Staghorn coral in Palm Beach county,” Reef Rescue’s director Ed Tichenor.

    The find is significant, Reef Rescue contends, especially since the town officials have objected to federal habitat protection for the area, saying this protected coral is uncommon in its waters.

    Staghorn coral was declared a threatened species in 2006. It naturally is found throughout the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Caribbean islands and Venezuela. In U.S. waters

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration notes that disease and damage from humans and hurricanes has wiped out up to 98 percent of the Staghorn population since 1980.

    At one time, NOAA scientists believed that the Staghorn population stretched no further north than Boca Raton’s waters, but over the last several years it has been found throughout the waters off Palm Beach County, Tichenor said this morning.

    The divers who found this field were looking for Staghorn coral.

    “And we found the mother lode,” said Connie Gasque, a Palm Beach resident who lead the dive group, according to information Tichenor issued yesterday.

    “This discovery is significant since the Town of Palm Beach is opposing federal critical habitat protection for this coral,” she said in yesterday’s written statement.

    That statement notes that as recently as Aug. 26, town officials sent a letter to National Marine Fisheries Service saying that including the town’s reefs within a protected critical habitat designation is not justified because Staghorn corals are found infrequently north of the Boynton Beach Inlet.

    Copyright © 2009, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


  2. Pingback: US religious right supports Japanese whale killers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Galapagos pink iguana on film | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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