Author: Deborah Sullivan Brennan
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune 
Jan. 6, 2013
Off remote Pacific atolls, San Diego researchers studying coral ecosystems found an underwater wonderland more vibrant than anything they’d ever seen. Vast coral cities of towers and caverns were teeming with sharks and other sea life.
“They can create a labyrinth, a maze or a church,” said Jennifer Smith, a professor at the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a lead researcher on the studies. “It can be really spectacular.”
Coral reefs are made up of the skeletons of coral polyps, which accumulate over millennia to form branching structures that host fish, mollusks and other marine life.
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