This image shows one of our corals that is very much like the Montipora capricornis that we see in text books. The Montipora group is very large, and it is not easy to find the species name when we are looking a living corals. We have found that growth forms are much more important for us to discover than species names.
When these corals are brought into captivity they often just survive at first. After the colonies have been cloned several times the new clone colonies change in many ways. The first thing that is different is the rate of growth. We have learned that all Montipora grow much faster as the corals adapt to captive systems.
This Montipora has pink colored edges and we have watched it change color as each new set of clones is produced. One of the most exciting research projects we are doing is the recombination of symbonts. Both bacteria and algae are living inside of all corals. These internal symbionts are important for coral growth.