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Episode 501: Coral Hybrids
Once a common sight in the Caribbean and Florida, Elkhorn and Staghorn corals are now listed as threatened on the U.S. Endangered Species list.   But while these corals have declined in recent years, their hybrid appears to be increasing in parts of the region.   Often found in really shallow water, this hybrid, commonly called  “Fused Staghorn,” closely resembles its parents.  
Dr. Nicole Fogarty from Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center has been studying the hybrid near a small island off the coast of Belize since 2005.   Carrie Bow Cay is a research facility of the Smithsonian Institution. The island is an ideal place to study the hybrid, because of its proximity to all three types of corals.

 

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