Web Toolbar by Wibiya

Discussion Board » News & Current Affairs






   

 

Australian Scientists Discover Deep Sea Corals

Australian scientists mapping the Great Barrier Reef have discovered corals at depths never before thought possible, with a deep-sea robot finding specimens in waters nearly as dark as night.



A team from the University of Queensland’s Seaview Survey announced the unprecedented discovery 125 metres (410 feet) below the surface at Ribbon Reef, near the Torres Strait and at the edge of the Australian continental shelf.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, chief scientist on the project, told AFP on Thursday that coral had previously only been shown to exist to depths of 70 metres and the finding could bring new understanding about how reefs spawn and grow.

“What’s really cool is that these corals still have photosynthetic symibionts that supposedly still harvest the light,” Hoegh-Guldberg told AFP.

“It’s interesting to know how they can handle such low light conditions — it’s very deep dusk, you can barely make out much at the bottom.”

Researchers were particularly interested in how the coral reproduced at such depths.

Shallow corals mate in a synchronised spawning event triggered by the moon which Hoegh-Guldberg said would be “very hard to see” at 125m.

Comments