Rich deep-sea coral reefs discovered near Galapagos

Marine biologists this week discovered two ancient deep-sea coral reefs off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, one of which is longer than eight football fields. The rocks lie 370 to 420 meters below the surface, and their discovery expands our understanding of the deep, cold-water reefs in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, the first to be found just six months ago,

“This information is not only valuable from a scientific point of view, but it also provides a solid basis for making decisions that effectively protect these ecosystems, preserve the biological diversity they contain and adapt to the constantly changing environment.” Their flexibility ensures,” said the director. Galapagos National Park Directorate Danny Rueda Córdova said in a statement.

The expedition of 24 scientists representing 13 organizations and universities launched on 18 September. Of the two rocks discovered, the smaller one is 250 meters long, while the larger one is 800 meters long. Both reefs display a rich diversity of stony coral species, showing that they have been supporting marine biodiversity for thousands of years.

Laser scanning technology mapped coral reefs with extremely high resolution, capturing details as small as 2 millimeters. The scans were able to identify animals living on the sea floor. This was a major goal of the expedition, as most underwater mapping techniques cannot image living organisms due to the coarse resolution.

The first deep-sea coral reefs in the Galapagos were discovered in April, revealing ancient structures not previously thought to exist in the region. The original discovery was made by a human-occupied submersible just above a submerged volcano; High-quality still images and 4k video reveal breathtaking marine life.

The research team included scientists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Galapagos National Park Directorate, Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF).

“The discovery of such a deep and long-lived reef gives us the opportunity to understand the role of deep habitats in protecting hidden dimensions of ocean diversity and maintaining the health of our ocean,” CDF’s Stuart Banks said in a statement. Takes important steps in that direction.”

The team also discovered seamounts, tall underwater mountains that are not high enough to be islands, within the Isla del Coco National Marine Park. Researchers observed several deep-sea coral species laden with eggs on these mountains.

Click through for images of the newly discovered rocks and the strange life that calls them home.

(TagstoTranslate)Coral reefs(T)Corals(T)Environment(T)Galapagos Islands(T)Anthozoa(T)Environmental impact of fishing(T)Coral reef conservation(T)Southeast Asian coral reefs(T)Stuart Banks (T)Deepwater Coral(T)Marine Biology(T)Oceanography(T)Danny Rueda(T)Gizmodo

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