Oh Acropora palmata, the iconic elkhorn coral, how we love to gaze on thee! Once widespread and ecologically paramount in the Caribbean Sea, the elkhorn coral used to be so abundant that there were reef zones named after it. Nowadays Acropora palmata has all but died out over much of their range.
Scenes of fields of elkhorn coral like the one filmed above used to be very common, but at least the species is still locally abundant in a few places, such as Puerto Rico and Curacao. The footage was made by Bart Shepard of the Steinhart Aquarium during a SECORE workshop in Curacao a couple of weeks ago. This elkhorn coral video shows to some degree what it used to be like to see fields of elkhorn coral, a rare sight on modern Caribbean reefs these days.