Antler coral (Pocillopora grandis) bleached white by the compounding effects of an El Nino with global warming being attacked by a Crown of Thorns Seastar (COTS; Acanthaster planci) that also leaves a bleached-white coral in its wake. This was photographed while scuba diving the Kona coast, Hawaii Island towards the end of the 2015-2016 event. Excessively warm seawater temperature that commenced during that El Nino was stressful to live corals resulting in widespread coral bleaching. Corals get their colors from symbiotic algae of the genus Symbiodinium, a type of dinoflagellate called zooxanthellae. When stressed corals expel their symbiotic zooxanthellae the live coral turns white.
Acanthaster planciAcanthasteridaeBIDcotsClass AsteroideaCnidariaCrownofThorns Starfish Sea StarEchinodermataEl NinoInvertebrateKona coast dive siteOrder ValvatidaPacificstock RFPhylum CnidariaPhylum EchinodermataSeacam underwater housingSubphylum EleutherozoaSuperclass AsterozoaTouch of Greybiospherecnidariancoelenteratecoral bleachingechinodermgobal warmingin situmarine lifenaturalworldnaturepredationscubascuba dive sitescuba divingsea starseastar predationstarfishunderwaterunderwater photographyunderwaterphotowild