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Discovery

As Corals Die Off, Scientists Watch for Signs of Evolution

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Photo of the natural fluorescence of Acropora millepora under a dissecting microscope.

Biologist Mikhail Matz studies how corals evolve. He is hoping to catch evolution in action as corals adapt to the ever-changing ocean environment, which gets warmer and more acidic every year. Here, the natural fluorescence of Acropora millepora is shown under a dissecting microscope. It is a rare morph with cyan-colored tentacles.

Credit: Mikhail V. Matz, UT Austin and Jrg Wiedenmann, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton


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Photo of Patch reef in Truk lagoon, Micronesia.

Patch reef in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia. This reef is considered one of the most beautiful and the most threatened, both by climate and human activities.

Credit: Mikhail V. Matz, UT Austin


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Photo of Acropora millepora on the reef off Magnetic Island, Australia.

Acropora millepora on the reef off Magnetic Island, Australia.

Credit: Mikhail V. Matz, UT Austin


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