PHOTOS: Strange New Species Found on Great Barrier Reef

PHOTOS: Hundreds of New Species Found on Great Barrier Reef
<< Previous   7 of 8   Next >>
Survey teams recently snapped a variety of soft corals--so-called because they lack the hard skeletons of reef-building corals--growing near Lizard Island in Australia.

The researchers found about 300 species of soft coral during a four-year census of marine life in Australia's coral reefs. Up to half of the species found could be new to science, the teams announced in September 2008.

Soft corals dominate some of the areas studied, covering up to 25 percent of the ocean floor at the three survey sites. The animals provide important habitat for other marine species.

(Related: "Soft Corals 'Melting' Due to Warming Seas, Expert Says" [July 13, 2007].)
—Photograph courtesy Gary Cranitch/Queensland Museum/copyright 2008
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.