Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room

High-resolution images from the 2006 Davidson Seamount Expedition

For background information, please see the Jan 26, 2006 news release: Ocean expedition to explore ancient coral gardens

For additional information about these images, please contact Kim Fulton-Bennett, kfb@mbari.org, 831-775-1835.


Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

These "bubblegum corals" in the genus Paragorgia grow to over 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall on Davidson Seamount. They live by filtering tiny particles out of the passing currents and are found primarily on the highest portions of Davidson Seamount. Unlike tropical corals, these deep-water corals live in water that is just a few degrees above freezing.
Download a high-resolution version of this image.


Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

These "bubblegum corals" in the genus Paragorgia grow to over 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall on Davidson Seamount. They live by filtering tiny particles out of the passing currents and are found primarily on the highest portions of Davidson Seamount. Unlike tropical corals, these deep-water corals live in water that is just a few degrees above freezing.
Download a high-resolution version of this image.


Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

These "bubblegum corals" in the genus Paragorgia grow to over 2.5 meters (8 feet) tall on Davidson Seamount. They live by filtering tiny particles out of the passing currents and are found primarily on the highest portions of Davidson Seamount. Unlike tropical corals, these deep-water corals live in water that is just a few degrees above freezing.
Download a high-resolution version of this image.


Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

Bamboo corals on Davidson Seamount may live to be over 200 years old.
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Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

These large yellow sponges are of an unknown species, but researchers on the cruise have been calling them "Picasso sponges" because of their wild shapes. The yellow sponges grow to almost one meter (three feet) tall. Like the corals on Davidson Seamount, the sponges feed on tiny particles suspended in the currents.
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Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

These this photograph shows three different types of sponges growing on the lava of Davidson Seamount: large yellow sponges, white frilly sponges, and white filamentous sponges which were previously thought to be a type of coral. The large yellow sponge provides a perch for several basket stars and pink shrimp.
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Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

This photograph shows a current meter that researchers placed on the seafloor to measure currents flowing over the top of Davidson Seamount. The researchers are trying to determine how these currents affect the growth of the sponges and corals that are often abundant near high points on the seamount.
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Image credit: Allen Andrews (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

During the Davidson Seamount expedition, researchers spent up to twelve hours a day in the control room, watching images sent back to the surface by the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Tiburon. In this image, Huff McGonigal, an Environmental Policy Specialist with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, zooms in on a yellow sponge covered with basket stars.
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Image credit: Lisa Borok (c) 2006 MBARI / NOAA

Researchers collected a few samples of corals from Davidson Seamount to determine how fast they grow and what species they are. This photograph shows researcher Allen Andrews examining a black coral in the "wet lab" on board the R/V Western Flyer.
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Last updated: Apr. 21, 2009