Here you will find intriguing extras our producers weren't able to fit into the Coral podcast:
Images from Randi D. Rotjan's dives near the Phoenix Islands.
Corals belong to a group called cnidarians, which includes the jellyfish and anemones. All three kinds of animals have tiny stinging cells called nematocysts that they fire like miniature harpoons to capture prey.
At night, coral polyps emerge from their stony armor to feed, their tiny tentacles making the moonlit reef appear fuzzy.
Why do reefs matter? These rainforests of the sea are home to about a third of all marine species and protect fragile coastlines. Corals themselves may themselves harbor chemical compounds that could yield important new medicines.
For more about researcher Randi Rotjan’s work in the Phoenix Islands,
read her blog from the 2009 expedition.
Dive a virtual coral reef and learn about the residents of these amazing underwater cities at
WhyReef, a project of EOL and the social networking site WhyVille.
Got yarn? Women and girls around the world (and some men and boys, too) are knitting and crocheting a coral reef replica to bring attention to the plight of reefs worldwide. Check out the Flickr set
here. Find instructions on how to knit your own reef here.
In June 2010, follow the mission of NOAA’s Aquarius undersea laboratory as its crew undertakes a special mission in reef restoration and coral resilience. Bookmark this
webcam link and follow the progress of the June mission live.
Learn how to take steps at home to protect reefs worldwide at the website of the
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.