This video may have already been making the rounds for the past couple of months, but it’s certainly worth mentioning here considering its focus. Put together by the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, the clip features up close footage of a popular aquarium specimen, the Pocillopora damincornis coral. As the video progresses, we get to dive deeper into the coral’s tissues, starting on the surface with some amazing fluorescing coral tissue and moving into individual polyps for a look at their internal structures and symbionts. Wrapping up the up close look at Pocillopora, we actually get a great view of its messentarial tissue expelling symbiont algae and even live coral larvae moving about on their hunt for an appropriate settlement area.
Following the Pocillopora, the video gives us a microscopic look at other coral species, including Leptastrea, a couple Porites species, and Fungia. And no coral video would be complete without touching on the danger they face in the wild, most notably bleaching. The video avoids mentioning the often politically divisive topics like global warming and ocean acidification, instead keeping the message much simpler by stating that we need to have a better understanding of corals and their endosymbiotes, and how those two react/interact with their environment.
Truly, this is one of the coolest videos we have every seen or posted here on the AquaNerd Blog, and it’s a great science lesson for coral keepers.