coral spawning tagged posts

Scientists can now train coral to spawn on demand

Coral spawning is a natural wonder. It’s also a pain in the neck for coral researchers. Once a year, at a time determined by a combination of water temperature, the length of the days and the phase of the moon, coral across a reef release buoyant bundles of eggs and sperm into the water. The effect resembles an upside-down snow globe, a blizzard of little pearls rising toward the surface.

The event is magical. And, for scientists, it triggers a crazed late-night frenzy of trying to collect enough eggs and sperm to last them through a year of experiments, until the next spawning.

Now, researchers in Australia have joined a select few labs around the world that have figured out how to trigger spawning on a human-made schedule...

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Great Barrier Reef explodes into life in ‘magical’ spawning event

The Great Barrier Reef has “given birth” in its annual coral spawn, creating a cacophony of color on the Australian landmark. Scientists working beneath the waves say they witnessed the event, in which coral simultaneously release sperm and eggs en masse, overnight Tuesday off the coast of Cairns, Queensland, hailing it as a positive sign the reef was able to regenerate despite ecological threats.

“Nothing makes people happier than new life – and coral spawning is the world’s biggest proof of that,” Australian marine biologist Gareth Phillips, who had a front row seat to this year’s coral spawn, said in statement via Queensland Tourism and Events. 

Philips, from research center Reef Teach, and his team of marine biologists, divers, students and photographers dived to the bottom of ...

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Climate change effects on coral reproduction

All coral reefs start off as a single polyp. A polyp is essentially a small tissue from the surface inside the body, somewhat similar to a sea anemone. Stony coral species live in colonies and discharge calcium carbonate, which acts as an external skeleton. Like jellyfish and sea anemone, which are their relatives, coral polyps have tentacles that are used to catch food. The tentacles are tucked away during the day, but reach out to catch their prey, mainly plankton, by stinging them.

On an annual basis, coral reefs release their gametes (reproductive cells) simultaneously. This phenomenon is most likely prompted by the right phase of the lunar and solar cycles as well as optimum water temperature...

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Full moon triggers largest mass spawning event

Coral spawning

It’s one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on Earth, and it only happens once a year – the annual mass spawning event at the Great Barrier Reef. Also known as the Great Barrier Reef’s ‘annual sex festival’, the event sees corals from all over the reef releasing their sperm and eggs into the water at the same time – and they appear to coordinate the whole event based on the full moon.

“The big days are after the full moon in November,” marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick from James Cook University in Australia told The Huffington Post.

“On the third day after the full moon, you’ll get the staghorn corals spawning, but the really big night is usually five days after the moon. That’s when you get the big plate corals spawning and a lot of other corals.”

According to the BBC, at...

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