We had a full moon just a few nights ago. In the Florida Keys, the August full moon is the setting for an incredible secret event: the annual spawning for the elkhorn, staghorn, boulder star coral, which are some of the most threatened corals in the world.

“We’ve been at this for quite a while, and each year we learn a little bit more about these corals,” says biologist Margaret Miller. “Unfortunately, we only have one opportunity a year to observe these corals spawning.” Researchers have learned to predict the narrow time frame during which these corals will be spawning, which is during the late evening hours over the week or so after the full moon in August.

Biologist Alina Szmant started this work in 1983. She says,”This has been a difficult problem to study because the corals are so secretive in their spawning pattern, and it all happens late at night when it is difficult to work?We have patiently learned?one year at a time?how to do all the steps needed to rear coral larvae from wild spawn and get them to settle on materials we provide them.”

Biologist Brian Keller says, “This line of research holds great promise for coral reef managers looking for strategies to enhance settlement of these formerly abundant species of coral.”

The Virgin Mary’s flowers were roses, but what about the Magdalene?is she really the harlot she is portrayed as by the church? Graham Phillips says definitely not, and he even knows where she is buried.

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