Deep-Sea Corals Reveal Dramatic Shift in Pacific Ocean Ecosystem

December 17, 2013 3:48 AM

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It turns out that a dramatic, long-term shift in the Pacific Ocean ecosystem may have occurred. Scientists have discovered that long-lived deep-sea corals hold a record of changes in the marine food web that could reveal a bit more about the history of our marine environment and could tell them a bit more about the ocean's gyres.

Deep-sea corals are colonial organisms that can live for thousands of years. They feed on organic matter that rains down from the upper levels of the ocean. Because their skeletons are made out of a hard protein material that incorporates the chemical signatures of their food sources, scientists can...

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