Well, all good things must come to an end, so this is it for Coral Week. I wanted to finish things on a high note with the “naked coral” hypothesis. Does it sound like something out of an Austin Powers movie? Really, folks, its in Science! It probably won’t save corals from global ocean overturning or anything, but its important to know anyway for your oral exams, for breadth of perspective in the face of doomsday scenarios, or just for good cocktail party conversation.
It was a good theme week here at DSN, our third. Seven or eight different blogs participated. We posted 27 stories in seven days and put at least 3000 people through the door. Kevin produced one of his best theme songs ever. We reached out to colleagues across the world, and introduced some ideas you may not see in the published literature. Things that eat coral and Coral in the Bible comes to mind. Other ideas are cutting edge, too edgy for the media, even. The work of Steve Cairns and Les Kaufman, in particular.
Most importantly, I was able to demonstrate that corals are indeed the coolest marine invertebrate ever because:
- they can survive a nuclear blast
- they range from 0 to 8500m depth
- they house the fastest known biological structure, the nematocyst
- they have their own week
- and, they can secrete a house from their butt
The ultimate goal, though, was to win your sympathy for deep corals by pointing out five shared characteristics between deep corals and shallow corals:
- They are diverse and beautiful
- They host complex microbial assemblages
- They are old as the hills, and represent archives of global climate change
- They create habitat for numerous associated species
- They are negatively effected by human activities like fossils fuels and fishing
I hope you enjoyed this event, and you keep reading along. May Coral Week benefit you for years to come, by collecting lecture notes it one place, if nothing else. It was fun having you all. Special thanks to guest posts from Christina Kellogg, Mike Risk, and John Guinotte, and to all the folks out there in the blogosphere who tuned in and put out for our Coral Week extravaganza. We’ll be reading you.
And now we return to our regular programming…