|In the deep blue sea: A survey of corals and their kin shows the ocean's evolutionary potential|
Pennisi, E. (2010). In the deep blue sea: A survey of corals and their kin shows the ocean's evolutionary potential. Science (Wash.) 327(5965): 519
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075; e-ISSN 1095-9203, meer
The deep sea may not seem like a crucible of evolution. But, to the surprise of biologists, a new construction of the coral family tree suggests that evolution proceeds at full bore in waters well below where sunlight penetrates. Moreover, some coral diversity may have bloomed there first, before spreading coastward—the reverse of what has long been thought. At a meeting in Seattle earlier this month, a dozen experts celebrated progress in assembling an improved family tree showing the relatedness of jellyfish, corals, anemones, and hydra, which are collectively known as cnidarians.