Anthias and Soft Coral

Photograph by Tim Laman, National Geographic

A Fijian reef explodes in color as a school of anthias swims past. If a soft coral hosts zooxanthellae (the algae that give coral the nutrients it needs to grow) and the water becomes too warm, the algae leave and the soft coral die. Unlike hard corals, soft corals don’t leave a limestone skeleton behind and cannot regenerate.