Major Spirals
Video courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones: New England and Corner Rise Seamounts. Download larger version (mp4, 76.9 MB).

Few corals are as recognizable as the beautifully spiral-shaped octocorals in the genus Iridogorgia. Their flexible branches come off of a main, spiraled axis, with individual coral polyps sitting out on these branches, catching food as it drifts by in the water column. This one is living up to its full scientific name of Iridogorgia magnispiralis. It was seen during Dive 06 of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition, which was the first time we’d seen this species during the expedition.

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