Gold coral

This deep water “gold coral”, collected in Hawaii, has a “skeleton” made of very dense and degradation-resistant protein. These corals appear to grow very slowly perhaps over several centuries or longer. Similar species occur in the Gulf of Alaska. Since they build their proteinaceous skeleton using nutrition settling from above, we hope to use the chemistry of the protein to learn about past variability in ocean surface waters in the northwestern Pacific. Image courtesy of Exploring Alaska's Seamounts 2002, NOAA/OER.

Related Links

Exploring Alaska's Seamounts

Exploring Alaska's Seamounts: Coral Reproduction

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery