Question Sheet: Coral Gardens


Before reading:

  1. Where in the world’s oceans would you find corals?
  2. What makes a sponge an unusual sea creature?

During reading:

  1. Why is Davidson Seamount an unusual place?
  2. What do NOAA, MBARI, and ROV stand for?
  3. How have ROVs changed the ability of scientists to study the ocean?
  4. Why is Davidson Seamount described as “valuable real estate”?
  5. What is bubblegum coral?
  6. Are deep-sea coral communities in danger? Why or why not?

After reading:

  1. Describe several ways in which ocean-roaming ROVs could help scientists. See (National Undersea

    Research Center).

  2. What roles do ocean currents play in ecosystems? See


    (NASA/Smithsonian) and

    (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research).

  3. How might scientist have explored the depths of the ocean before ROVs became

    available? See

    (University of Delaware).

  4. Why is coral an important ecosystem? What is a coral reef? How are the coral

    gardens at Davidson Seamount different from a coral reef? See

  5. What additional tools or new technologies might help researchers explore

    underwater areas such as Davidson Seamount? See


  6. How does life at Davidson Seamount differ from life at an undersea (hydrothermal) vent? See (University of Delaware).


Where is bubblegum coral found? See (NIWA Science),


(NOAA), or (Earthscape). If you were to travel to a place where this coral is found, what is the location nearest to your hometown?


  1. Visit one of the Web sites listed in the references for this article and write a review of the site. How easy is the site to navigate? What information do you learn from the home page? What are the home page’s and the Web site’s strongest features? How would you improve the Web site? See (NOAA), (MBARI), or
  2. Take a look at some of the photos of sea creatures at Davidson Seamount.

    Pick one photo and write a paragraph or two describing what the photo shows. Can someone who hasn’t seen the photo imagine the scene from your description? See


    (MBARI) or (NOAA).


Given that Davidson Seamount is 120 kilometers from Monterey, Calif., at what speed (in miles per hour) did the research ship Western Flyer travel if it took 6 hours to get to the