May 13, 2019, 3:04 PM
News Code: 83312981
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Iran discovers solitary corals in Persian Gulf

Tehran, May 13, IRNA – The Persian Gulf Explorer in its fifth exploration spotted a main habitat of solitary corals in the Persian Gulf.

'Sampling in the depth of 90 meters of the Hormuz Strait in the Persian Gulf, the Persian Gulf Explorer found a species of corals named cynarina ‎lacrymalis with the numbers of 200-300 in each square meter,' said Abdolvahab Maqsoudlou, a member of the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science, according to the public relations office of the organization.

Solitary corals are a kind of stony or hard corals that don’t form reefs or colonies.

Maqsoudlou added that the habitat of the coral was thought to be the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean, though there have been reports of their presence in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and waters of Indonesia, Japan, and Australia.

'But, this is the first report of their existence in Hormuz Strait and in this huge density.'

He added that the discovered species is near-threatened, according to the classification of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN‏). Therefore, it is essential that their number be examined on a yearly basis.

Previously, two other species of corals had already been found in the northwestern parts of the Persian Gulf, Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science.

So far, 28 species of corals from 20 genera and 8 families have been found in the beaches of some Persian Gulf islands.

Ecologically speaking, they are an important part of the food chain of the Persian Gulf. Due to the wide variety, numerous animals depend on them in different parts of their lives, including shrimps and fish.
Acidulation, high temperatures, pollution and opacity of ocean waters are killing coral reefs, which may affect a great deal of ocean life.

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