Discovery Channel and MSNBC announced the discovery of a new fan-like coral, called a bamboo coral, last week. The coral was originally discovered by scientists on the submersible Alvin during expeditions in the Gulf of Alaska in 2002 and 2004, but it has taken several years to determine that the coral is a new species.
The brilliantly-colored corals first identified were over 3 feet in length and in cold water at depths between 2,300 and 3,300 feet. The coral has been brought up in bits and pieces in fishing nets before, but this discovery was the first time it had been seen alive. Like trees, the corals have growth rings that enable scientists to age them. Some of the corals aged so far are thought to be at least 150 years old.
- Corals, Formation of Corals and Threats to Coral Reefs
- New Fanlike Coral Found in Deep Sea (Discovery.com- MSNBC.com)
- My Take: A New Species of Isadella Bamboo Coral (Blog Entry and Video By Peter Etnoyer, Scientist on the Discovery Mission)