Coral reefs are the rain forests of the oceans — teeming with diverse and postcard-perfect fish, towering sponges and multicolored coral. In these photos, Dr. Mark Vermeij, scientific director of the Caribbean Institute for Research and Management of Biodiversity, documents the diversity of life in this magnificent — yet fragile — underwater ecosystem.
Glassy Sweepers are small, nervous fish that can cluster in groups of 100 or more. (Mark Vermeij)
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You also hear and read about Dr. Vermeij's work, in an All Things Considered story by NPR's Richard Harris, "Can Corals Survive In A Warming World?"