Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shallow Water Corals Evolved From Deep Sea Ancestors

Date:
June 18, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters. Stylasterids, or lace corals, diversified in deep waters before launching at least three successful invasions of shallow water tropical habitats in the past 40 million years. This finding provides the first strong evidence that a group of deep-sea animals invaded and diversified in shallow waters.

The bubblegum coral Paragorgia sp. (large colony) and the lace coral Stylaster sp. (smaller colony) in waters 150 meters deep off Adak Island, Alaska.
Credit: Alberto Lindner/NOAA

New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters. Stylasterids, or lace corals, diversified in deep waters before launching at least three successful invasions of shallow water tropical habitats in the past 40 million years.

This finding provides the first strong evidence that a group of deep-sea animals invaded and diversified in shallow waters.

"When we look at the DNA and fossils of these animals, we can trace how these transitions from deep water to shallow habitats have popped up in different parts of the family at different points in time," says Alberto Lindner, a coral researcher at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

"We also see this story unfold in which the corals are building skeletal defenses, possibly in a long-running arms-race with their predators. Together, it shows us how wrong it is to think of deep-sea ecosystems as being isolated and static."

Lindner and co-authors Stephen Cairns and Cliff Cunningham will publish these new findings in the June 18 issue of the journal PLoS ONE. This article follows a presentation by Lindner at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Although deep-sea research is often difficult and expensive, Lindner and his colleagues hope their work will further inspire scientific exploration and broad evolutionary studies in the oceans. "The deep sea and the shallow-water tropics are the most diverse environments in the oceans, but how deep and shallow-water species have built these different marine habitats is still poorly understood. Our study shows that integrating deep-sea and shallow-water species in evolutionary studies is key to understanding the evolution of life in the oceans."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lindner et al. From Offshore to Onshore: Multiple Origins of Shallow-Water Corals from Deep-Sea Ancestors. PLoS One, 2008; 3 (6): e2429 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002429

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Shallow Water Corals Evolved From Deep Sea Ancestors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617204512.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, June 18). Shallow Water Corals Evolved From Deep Sea Ancestors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617204512.htm
Public Library of Science. "Shallow Water Corals Evolved From Deep Sea Ancestors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617204512.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins