Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca baa atoll manta ray

A Giant π˜—π˜°π˜³π˜ͺ𝘡𝘦𝘴 sp. and a Manta Ray

There are many ways corals contribute to biodiversity and here is one. This giant Porites sp. measured and reported byΒ @cococaresmvΒ is not only special because of its size, but it is also dear to Manta Rays that use it as a cleaning station.
Corals are organisms capable of living incredibly long lives and are home to many other organisms thriving within, on, and in the middle of their structures.
This colony was found at 19.5m and measures 8.5 m in length. In the last few weeks, it showed signs of bleaching but we are hopeful that given its depth, it will make it, as it must have already done in the past…

Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca baa atoll manta ray
Giant Porites sp., a manta ray cleaning station
Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca Laamu atoll

Giant π˜—π˜°π˜³π˜ͺ𝘡𝘦𝘴 sp. from Laamu atoll

The South of the Maldives certainly still harbors a lot of secrets, and the Maldives Underwater Initiative Team is out there looking for Giant Corals. Here comes a report of a Giant π˜—π˜°π˜³π˜ͺ𝘡𝘦𝘴 sp. from the reefs near Laamu Hithadhoo. The colony sits at a depth of approximately 22 meters and measures around 12 meters in diameter and 3 meters in height. Maahil Ahmed, a coral researcher from the MUI team, has also been able to provide a 3D reconstruction of the colony, which proves incredibly valuable to assess changes to the coral, especially considering the current bleaching event.

Thank you MUI team for your efforts!

Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca laamu atoll Maldives Underwater Initiative
Giant π˜—π˜°π˜³π˜ͺ𝘡𝘦𝘴 sp. from Laamu Atoll by MUI
Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca laamu atoll
Giant π˜—π˜°π˜³π˜ͺ𝘡𝘦𝘴 sp. 3D reconstruction
Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca faafu atoll

Giant Pavona sp. in Faafu Atoll

GIANT PAVONA

A giant Pavona sp. was identified on 24th of March 2023 in the lagoon of Nilandhoo in Faafu Atoll by the MaRHE Center Team.

The colony measures 4m in height and 50m in circumference and sits at a depth of 9.5m. The conditions of the colony appeared good with over 51-75% of it being alive.

Despite the low visibility, shallow inner lagoons seem very suitable habitats for locating Giant colonies.

Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca faafu atoll
Giant Pavona sp.
Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca faafu atoll

Giant Coral in Faafu Atoll

πŸ“’ NEWΒ MONUMENTAL CORAL

A new very healthy giant colony ofΒ  Porites cf. lobata, 22 meters in circumference, and 7 meters wide has been reported from the North of Faafu Atoll, Maldives. Sitting at a depth of 7.5 m, it was found on the 8th of April 2024 by team members of MaRHE Center.

Given the slow growth rates of this species, it can be hundreds years old. Considering its optimal health conditions, we strongly believe there can be even bigger colonies in the Maldives. We really look forward to many more reports!

Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca faafu atoll
Map the Giants: a giant Porites in Faafu Atoll
Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca faafu atoll

Giant Heliopora in Faafu Atoll

Whilst exploring Faafu Atoll, the MaRHE Center team landed on an uninhabited island and came across this huge Heliopora coerulea. Athough Blue Coral are actually Octocorals, they are nonetheless reef-building organisms, largely contributing to the fundation of this ecosystem. Measuring 9m in length is separated by less than a mt from a second 7m long Heliopora. Were they previously a single huge GIANT? This is one of the questions our future studies would like to solve.

Map the Giants corals marhe center bicocca faafu atoll
Map the Giants: a giant Porites in Faafu Atoll

This research is being conducted under the permit NRP2023/79 by Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources and by EPA permit PA/2023/PAR-1