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Corals' bright colors protect them from sunlight and help photosynthesis

In shallow water, corals sport fluorescent colors to absorb and reflect damaging wavelengths from the sun, protecting symbiotic single-celled organisms called zooxanthellae, which provide food to corals, according to University of Southampton reef scientist Joerg Wiedenmann. His team has recently discovered that, in turn, corals turn blue-spectrum wavelengths that reach them in deep water to orange and red to help them get more sunlight and aid photosynthesis.

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