Motion in the ocean

Scientists figure out why pulsing corals pulse

By Stephen Ornes, 13:25 PM May 3, 2013

Scientists say pulsing corals make their motion to bring in needed nutrients. Credit: M. Kremien et al/PNAS 2013

Here’s a new exercise: Call it the “pulsing coral.” While waving your arms slowly in the air, gently bring all of your fingertips on each hand together. Then spread them out again. Then bring them in again. Keep going, opening and closing, every few seconds, all of the time — and preferably underwater.

Certain corals known as xeniids (ZEE nee idz) do this day and night with only a few breaks. Marine ecologist Maya Kremien, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel, describes these ...

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