Dozens of deep-sea corals thrive off the California coast, but many are still unknown to science.
Dozens of deep-sea corals thrive off the California coast, but many are still unknown to science. Scientists recently described a new species of deep-sea coral found 22 miles west of Point Reyes National Seashore. The small, yellow octocoral has been named Chromoplexaura cordellbankensis for its discovery on Cordell Bank, a 26 square-mile rocky, underwater feature located at the center of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Researchers Dr. Gary Williams of the California Academy of Sciences and Danielle Lipski of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary collected a small branch of the yellow deep-sea coral from Cordell Bank during an expedition in the summer of 2018. Scientists on board the NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada used a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to collect the individual specimen. Dr. Williams formally described the new coral species with co-author Dr. Odalisca Breedy from the University of Costa Rica. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences on May 15, 2019.
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Image via NOAA.