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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1351

USGS Cold-Water Coral Geographic Database—Gulf of Mexico and Western North Atlantic Ocean, Version 1.0

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Figure 1. Examples of the diversity of cold-water corals, shown in their natural habitats.

(A) Scleractinians and octocorals forming a bioherm on basaltic pillow lavas;

(B) Closeup of the polyps of the scleractinian Lophelia pertusa; (Photos A and B were taken on the New England Seamounts in the North Atlantic Ocean by the Institute for Exploration’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Hercules, and are provided courtesy of the Deep Atlantic Stepping Stones 2005 project (DASS05).

(C) Stylasterids (white and pink) and black solitary cup corals (Cladopsammia sp.) on carbonate rock;

(D) Close-up of a solitary scleractinian Cladopsammia sp.;

(E) Red octocoral and white Lophelia pertusa on carbonate rock;

(F) Carbonate pinnacle covered by octocorals and solitary scleractinians. 

(Photos C, D, E, and F were taken in the Madison Swanson Reserve in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico by an ROV operated by Lance Horn (NOAA/NURP) during a cruise of the R/V Liberty Star in 2005 (Scanlon, unpublished data).

[Click here for high-resolution image, 1.68 MB.]

Figure 1, six photographic examples of cold-water coral habitats, and link to larger image.
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