Deep-sea coral community

The deepwater environment of the Florida Escarpment proved to be a good habitat for diverse deepwater coral communities. In this image alone, there are four different species of corals, including bubblegum and bamboo corals. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition.
Deep-sea coral community
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Black coral & squat lobster

A squat lobster, Gastroptychus cf. spinifer, resides on a black coral. Members of this genus always associate with gorgonian or antipatharian corals, and commonly are observed with their chelipeds (claws) spread, but because they live in deep, dark places, nobody knows why they do this. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition.
Black coral & squat lobster
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Octocoral, Lophelia, & Squat Lobster

A squat lobster resides on an octorcoral. In the background you can see a colony of Lophelia, the predominant coral in this area of the West Florida Escarpment. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition.
Octocoral, Lophelia, & Squat Lobster
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Plumarella & Urchin

A rare instance of deep sea predation captured on camera, a sea urchin munches on a Plumarella octocoral. This may be the first time sea urchin predation on coral was captured so close-up using high-definition cameras thanks to the incredible image capabilities of the Deep Discoverer ROV. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition.
Plumarella & Urchin
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Lophelia

Live Lophelia pertusa colony. The white color is the skeleton showing through, as the tissue is clear. Notice the fleshy tentacles on each polyp. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition.
Lophelia
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Corals on fracture

Deep Discoverer passing over a rock outcropping and recently fractured carbonate ledge with corals living on the margin. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition.
Corals on fracture
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Lophelia & Barrelfish

Barrelfish along the edge of a Lophelia coral reef at Viosca Knoll near 500 m depth. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia & Barrelfish
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Callogorgia with Brittle Stars

A field of sea fans (Callogorgia sp.) with brittle stars (Asteroschema sp.). Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Callogorgia with Brittle Stars
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Lophelia rubble & Crab

Small crab (Portunidae) and squat lobster in Lophelia rubble. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia rubble & Crab
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Lophelia & Fly-trap Anemone

Orange fly-trap anemone on Lophelia pertusa coral reef at Viosca Knoll near 500 m depth. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia & Fly-trap Anemone
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Lophelia reef

Large swales of Lophelia pertusa coral near 500 meters depth on Robert’s Reef in Viosca Knolls region of the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia reef
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Lophelia polyps

Close-up on polyps of the deep-sea stony coral Lophelia pertusa. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia polyps
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Paramuricea sea fans on shipwreck

Bow of the Green Lantern shipwreck with Paramuricea sea fans. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Paramuricea sea fans on shipwreck
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Lophelia, Squat Lobster & Urchin

Squat lobster on Lophelia coral with urchin at Viosca Knoll near 500 m depth. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia, Squat Lobster & Urchin
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Paramuricea & Callogorgia with Brittle Stars

Two species of sea fan (Paramuricea in yellow and Callogorgia in light gray) with Lophelia pertusa and a brittle star (Asteroschema). Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Paramuricea & Callogorgia with Brittle Stars
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Lophelia reef

An orange brisingid basket star on a Lophelia reef at 450m depth in Viosca Knoll. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Lophelia reef
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Paramuricea and Crab

Green Lantern shipwreck with Paramuricea sea fans and crab. Image courtesy of Lophelia II: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks 2009 Expedition, NOAA OER/BOEM.
Paramuricea and Crab
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Madracis and red barbier fish

Madracis and red barbier fish as part of the mesophotic reefs at 82 m depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of USGS image, K. Sulak.
Madracis and red barbier fish
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Swiftia exserta with gag grouper and shark

The sea fan Swiftia exserta on Alabama Alps Reef, September 2011, near 70 m depth, in a composite panorama of AquaPix rotary camera pictures taken during one night's deployment. The gag grouper and shark occupied the site about 1 hour apart from each other. (C) Ian R. MacDonald, all rights reserved.
Swiftia exserta with gag grouper and shark
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Villogorgia, Ellisella sp. sea whips and Swiftia exserta

Villogorgia, Ellisella sp. sea whips and Swiftia exserta with a lionfish on Yellowtail Reef at 60 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Villogorgia, Ellisella sp. sea whips and Swiftia exserta
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Ellisella sea whips and Roughtongue bass on a rocky reef

Ellisella sea whips, a small Thesea nivea and Nicella sp. with roughtongue bass on Yellowtail Reef at 60 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Ellisella sea whips and Roughtongue bass on a rocky reef
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Bank butterflyfish with Villogorgia and Scleracis sp

Small Villogorgia sp. (white) and Scleracis sp. (yellow) with a bank butterflyfish (Chaetodon aya) on Yellowtail Reef at 60 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Bank butterflyfish with Villogorgia and Scleracis sp
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Swiftia exserta and a porcupinefish

Porcupinefish with Swiftia exserta sea fans and Ellisella sp. sea whips at 60 meters on Yellowtail Reef in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Swiftia exserta and a porcupinefish
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Hypnogorgia pendula

Hypnogorgia pendula with small Bebryce on Roughtongue Reef at 64 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Hypnogorgia pendula
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Leptogorgia on Roughtongue Reef

Leptogorgia with small Nicella sea fans at 64 meters depth on Roughtongue Reef in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Leptogorgia on Roughtongue Reef
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Thesea nivea

Thesea nivea on Roughtongue Reef at 64 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Thesea nivea
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Swiftia exserta sea fans

Swiftia exserta sea fans on Roughtongue Reef at 64 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Swiftia exserta sea fans
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Swiftia exsert sea fans with a scrawled cowfish

Swiftia exserta sea fans with a scrawled cowfish on Alabama Alps at 72 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Swiftia exsert sea fans with a scrawled cowfish
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Muriciedes cf. M. hirta

Muriciedes cf. M. hirta with small Antipathes atlantica and a purple Thesea nivea in the background on Alabama Alps at 72 meters in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Muriciedes cf. M. hirta
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Hypnogorgia pendula on Alabama Alps

Hypnogorgia pendula on Alabama Alps at 72 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Hypnogorgia pendula on Alabama Alps
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Burrfish in a Bebryce field

Burrfish in a Bebryce field on Alabama Alps at 72 meters depth in the Gulf of Mexico. Image courtesy of NOAA, USGS, and Deep Sea Systems International.
Burrfish in a Bebryce field
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Dead Lophelia pertusa rubble

Dead Lophelia pertusa rubble near 563 meters depth on West Florida shelf at Okeanos Ridge dive site in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Lasers are 10 cm apart. Image is from Deep-Sea Coral Shakedown Expedition with RV Falkor and ROV Global Explorer, August 31, 2012. Image credit: Peter Etnoyer, NOAA, and Schmidt Ocean Institute.
Dead Lophelia pertusa rubble
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