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.