Thursday, 24 April 2008

Coral spawning


What do you do when you're not in the office? If you are Helen's former flatmate and colleague at Exeter University, Sonia Bejarano, the answer is swim in coral spawn.... Meanwhile Helen's boss, Peter Mumby, sat in the boat up above and counted the minutes - about 30 - betwen the start and finish of the event.
The annual mass spawning of corals on the Palau archipelago in the western Pacific has just occurred, right on cue. With Sunday night's full moon, coral polyps let forth a huge swathe of sperm and egg, to seed the next generation. The event was short-lived but so vast in its scale that it turned the sea water pink. Scientists from Palau, Australia and the UK are studying the practicality of collecting coral larvae to help restore damaged reefs elsewhere.

For full details see the BBC article by Andrew Luck-Baker at

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