Bleached soft coral

Bleached soft coral

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Credit: GEORGETTE DOUWMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bleached soft coral. The colour in the coral is lost due to the expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae called zooxanthellae that live within its tissues. In this case, the zooxanthellae have been expelled due to high water temperature. Some of the coral here appears pink as it still contains the zooxanthellae, which is needed to provide the coral with nutrients and thus maintain its colour. Photographed in the Maldives, Indian Ocean.

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Keywords: algae, animal, aquatic, biological, biology, bleached, bleaching, climate change, close-up, cnidaria, cnidarian, coelenterate, colonial, colour loss, coral, coral reef, corals, damage, damaged, destruction, detail, ecological, ecology, ecosystem, environment, environmental, fauna, fish, global warming, heat, indian ocean, indo-pacific, invertebrate, invertebrates, loss of colour, maldives, marine biology, marine life, nature, ocean, oceania, pink, polyp, polyps, sea, soft coral, temperature increase, tropical, under water, underwater, white, wildlife, zoological, zoology, zooxanthellae

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