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The South Atlantic coral Mussismilia harttii actively and quickly removes heavy crude oil from its surface

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The Brazilian coast was recently affected by the largest oil in its history. We exposed polyps of the South Atlantic reef-building coral Mussismilia harttii to 5 g of heavy crude oil collected from the spill. Polyps were able to remove the oil in less than two hours after exposure, through the production of mucus and gas bubbles. These findings are further evidence for the resilience of Mussismilia corals.
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Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Biologia Marinha, Universidade Federal Fluminense. Rua São João Batista, s/n – 24220-900 Niterói, RJ, Brazil 2: Instituto Coral Vivo. Rua dos Coqueiros, 87 – 45807-000 Santa Cruz Cabrália, BA, Brazil 3: Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São Paulo. Praça do Oceanográfico, 191 – 05508-120 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Appeared or available online: April 21, 2020

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