I’m pleased to announce that scientists from Ocean Ark Alliance, The Henry Foundation, and Gaia Resources, have just launched their new website, Corals of the World. This is the online version of J.E.N. Veron’s famous book of the same name. The 3 book series has been the go-to reference for identification and contains an incredible amount of data on the identified corals species. The new online version is still in Beta phase, which means that they will be updating the site and fixing any issues that arise, and the authors welcome any comments or feedback from the public. This is definitely worth taking the time to check out!
This site is easy to navigate and fantastically thorough – for each of the 831 species listed, the authors include its characteristics, Color, Similar Species, Habitat, Abundance, Date it was named (and by whom), beautiful pictures, and links to more information.You can search the alphabetical listing to find a coral whose name you already know, pinpoint a species through its taxonomy, or search the interactive map to discover which species inhabit each specific ecoregion. The Overview of Coral Taxonomy page is a goldmine of information; it has an overview of our taxonomic inheritance, including historic collections, as well as an outline of the “reality of the reef”, coral families, the molecular technologies used in coral research, and plans for the future of this discipline and site.
I recommend starting with the video tour of the website, which outlines all the features that the current version offers, and then explore from there. And don’t forget to give the authors your feedback; they value your comments and opinions.