25 August 1989
Vol 245, Issue 4920

About The Cover

An aggregation of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) on a staghorn Acropora coral, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The starfish feed on the coral polyps, leaving behind a bleached skeleton. The white branches were recently eaten; the overgrown basal branches have been dead for several months or more. In recent years, A. planci outbreaks have caused extensive damage to a large section of the Great Barrier Reef. See page 847. [Photograph by Len Zell; courtesy of The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, Queensland, Australia]