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Press Release 12-209
Coral Reef 911: Corals Attacked by Seaweed Use Chemical Signals to Summon Help

"Bodyguard" fish quickly respond to gobble up marine algae

Back to article | Note about images

Photo of a goby fish on a coral reef in Fiji.

Goby fish on a coral reef in Fiji; green algae are moving in on the coral, but gobies rescue.

Credit: Danielle Dixson


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Scientists report findings on a new relationship among coral reefs, fish called gobies, and certain seaweeds. The interaction depends on chemical cues, and will lead to a better understanding of coral reefsand possibly to new pharmaceuticals.

Credit: National Science Foundation

 

Map of Fiji islands.

Scene of the crime: Fiji and its coral reefs in a vast ocean.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Photo  of a goby fish feeding on algae that would otherwise cover the coral.

A goby on-the-job: it's feeding on algae that would otherwise cover the coral.

Credit: Danielle Dixson


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Photo of a goby fish on a coral reef in Fiji.

Goby fish in the genus Gobiodon: the fish are common coral reef residents in Fiji.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Close-up photo of Acropora coral.

Close-up of Acropora coral: it "calls 911" when it chemically senses certain algae.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Cover of the journal Science showing detailed stone sculptures.

The research results are described in the Nov. 9, 2012 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: AAAS Copyright 2012


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