Topics » Science & Technology   Feb. 28, 2012

When the Ocean Gets Choppy, Corals Clone

Growing Polyps

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Photo: Heyward & Negri, AIMS

Waxy FatFragile EmbryosDivided Embryos Vary in SizeNaked EmbryosBreaking UpGrowing PolypsYoung CoralsSix Weeks OldCoral Spawning

Growing Polyps

When corals spawn eggs, they tend to be highly uniform in size. But in contrast, when developing embryos are fragmented by turbulence, the resulting pieces vary in size, yet have all the cellular information necessary to continue normal development. This image shows corals that originated from fragmented embryo clones. Each flower-like unit is a single coral, and the center of each is the polyp with tiny growing tentacles.

Photo Essay

Photo Essay