The Origins of Modern Corals

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Science  09 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5510, pp. 1913-1914
DOI: 10.1126/science.1056632

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Modern corals play an important role in marine processes and the global carbon cycle because of their prodigious ability to form calcium carbonate deposits. In their Perspective, Stanley and Fautin discuss the controversy surrounding the evolution of modern corals. They suggest that lineages may have lost and reacquired skeletons repeatedly as conditions favorable to calcification waned and waxed.