Deep Water Corals Invade!

Sometimes research comes about that really makes my whole week. This time it is a little diddy from Lindner et al. in PLoS. We could go through all the specifics of the paper…they sequenced 100 coral species from a single family or that family is the second most diverse group of hard corals.

But all you really need to know is that this family didn’t originate in shallow water but in the deep sea! After the group evolved in the deep, gathering the necessary anti-predatory equipment, they invaded the shallow water tropics at least three times. O but that was not enough! They additionally invaded a temperate shallow water at least once for good measure.

So all those mammby-pammby shallow water workers who think they have exclusive rights on corals can get bent. Your corals wouldn’t exist without ours! So pay some respect to your elders.

There is only one thing to do now! You the readers must create LOL CORALZ 2 SHOW R GR8TNSS!

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

One Reply to “Deep Water Corals Invade!”

  1. For those who are interested, Linder et al studied Stylaster spp. hydrocorals. California divers will recognize these as the purple deep water species Stylaster californicus found on deep banks with peaks ~40-50m around Channel Islands. Caribbean divers will recognize these as the more diminutive and fragile Stylaster roseus found on shallow overhangs.

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