Northernmost coral reef discovered near Japan
Researchers have found what is the highest latitude coral reef to date off the coast of Japan. The reef was found at 34° N in the the bay between Tsushima and Iki Islands by Hiroya Yamano and his team. That is 217 miles (350 kilometers) north of most tropical coral reefs. Although a coldwater reef at 55 fahrenheit (13 degrees celcius), the reef still futures some corals commonly found at warmer coral reefs. Dominated by Faviids rather than Acropora and and Porites as is usual for warmer waters, it is fascinating that the corals managed to adapt. The reef is estimated to be 4,300 years old and was rediscovered through the help of locals and old manuscripts. It is thought that there are still many similar undiscovered reefs in the region. Hiroya Yamano’s findings were published online July 12 in the journal Geology.