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Discovery of 12 million little solitary corals at Ningaloo

Posted by: Jo Myers

December 12, 2017

The ‘Goldilocks’ Zone…

CSIRO AUV, Starbug, in action at Ningaloo Reef (Image Credit: Russ Babcock).

During the September 2017 deep reefs field trip, the Ningaloo Outlook team made a discovery, millions of solitary corals stretching across the sea floor!

A garden of mushroom-like Cycloseris distorta in the deeper areas of Ningaloo reef.

The discovery was made possible with the Starbug-X, CSIRO’s very own Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. These little beasties covered a distance of over 2.5 kilometres which was 100 metres wide in places. The corals live unattached, feeding off sunlight and plankton and were found in waters depths of around 40 meters.

Read more about this discovery on our CSIROscope BLOG or the ABC News story with interviews from Russ Babcock and Karl Forcey.

Ningaloo Outlook - BHP, CSIRO