Discovering the mind-blowing diversity of deep-sea coral reefs

Ingo Burghardt
Ingo Burghardt is enjoying exploring the differences between tropical and deep-sea coral reefs. Image: Fraser Johnston, CSIRO
Brittlestars in a coral fragment
Corals are ‘ecosystem engineers’.

Brittle stars on corals: opportunists or partners?

Alexandra Weber sorting the sample on deck
Alexandra Weber of Museums Victoria sorts through shell grit brought up by the beam trawl. Alexandra is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Museums Victoria in Melbourne.

Entering the cold dark world of deep-sea corals

A matrix of stony coral Solenosmilia variabilis
The deep-sea coral Solenosmilia variabilis attaches to the exposed rocky surfaces of seamounts. It reaches out out to filter-feed on tiny organisms delivered by passing currents and forms a dense matrix that creates habitat for an explosion of other animals.
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