• The Star Staff

When coral’s colorful show is a sign that it is sick

By David Waldstein

When certain species of coral flash a shimmering palette of vibrant pinks, reds, blues, purples and yellows, they are not simply showing off. This coral is attempting to recover the algae they cannot live without, according to a study published May 21 in the journal Current Biology.

Coral depends on a remarkable symbiotic relationship with algae, which lives inside the organism’s tissue. When the algae-coral partnership is thriving, many coral display a healthy brown hue.

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