We’re celebrating with Steve Palumbi, co-author of The Extreme Life of the Sea.
In 1837 Charles Darwin first speculated that atolls, ring-shaped coral reefs that encircle lagoons, formed by growing around volcanic islands that eventually sunk. It took 100 years to prove Darwin’s theory of atoll formation correct. Why? Steve Palumbi explains in this video at his Stanford-based Microdocs site.
The Extreme Life of the Sea highlights other fascinating facts about these delicate yet enduring creatures. Black corals, Steve and his co-author Anthony Palumbi explain in their chapter “The Oldest”, can be smashed to bits by the smallest waves yet have been known to live up to 4,600 years and are likely the oldest living organisms on the planet. Instead of becoming frail as they age like many other species, the longer black corals live the more likely they are to survive and reproduce.
The book is just now shipping to stores, but we’ve made the book’s prologue available online to tide you over until you can get your hands on a copy.