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Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A kelp forest, with sunbeams passing through kelp fronds.  Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island A SCUBA diver swims through a giant kelp forest which is tilted back by strong ocean currents.   Giant kelp, the fastest plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky bottom to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Ocean sunfish recruiting fish near drift kelp to clean parasites, open ocean, Baja California, Mola mola San Clemente Island Pyramid Head, the distinctive pyramid shaped southern end of the island.  San Clemente Island Pyramid Head, showing geologic terracing, underwater reefs and giant kelp forests Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Bryozoan grows on a red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island Red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Northern fur seal swims through the cold waters and kelp forest of San Miguel Island, in California's northern Channel Islands, Callorhinus ursinus Kelp frond showing pneumatocysts, Macrocystis pyrifera, Santa Barbara Island Blue shark underneath drift kelp, open ocean, Prionace glauca, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Diego, California Red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater.  The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island Kelp fronds and pneumatocysts.  Pneumatocysts, gas-filled bladders, float the kelp plant off the ocean bottom toward the surface and sunlight, where the leaf-like blades and stipes of the kelp plant grow fastest.  Giant kelp can grow up to 2' in a single day given optimal conditions.  Epic submarine forests of kelp grow throughout California's Southern Channel Islands, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island The Kelp Forest offshore of La Jolla, California. A kelp forest. Giant kelp grows rapidly, up to 2' per day, from the rocky reef on the ocean bottom to which it is anchored, toward the ocean surface where it spreads to form a thick canopy. Myriad species of fishes, mammals and invertebrates form a rich community in the kelp forest. Lush forests of kelp are found throughout California's Southern Channel Islands, Macrocystis pyrifera Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas Giant kelp frond showing pneumatocysts. Small gas bladders -- pneumatocysts -- connect the kelp's stipes ("stems") to its blades ("leaves"). These bladders help elevate the kelp plant from the bottom, towards sunlight and the water's surface, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Giant kelp frond showing pneumatocysts. Small gas bladders -- pneumatocysts -- connect the kelp's stipes ("stems") to its blades ("leaves"). These bladders help elevate the kelp plant from the bottom, towards sunlight and the water's surface, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Sunlight streams through giant kelp forest. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant on Earth, reaches from the rocky reef to the ocean's surface like a submarine forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, Catalina Island Garibaldi and California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Hypsypops rubicundus, Muricea californica Garibaldi and red gorgonian on rocky reef, below kelp forest, underwater. The red gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Hypsypops rubicundus,  Lophogorgia chilensis, San Clemente Island California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef below kelp forest, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Muricea californica Blacksmith Chromis and California golden gorgonian on underwater rocky reef, San Clemente Island. The golden gorgonian is a filter-feeding temperate colonial species that lives on the rocky bottom at depths between 50 to 200 feet deep. Each individual polyp is a distinct animal, together they secrete calcium that forms the structure of the colony. Gorgonians are oriented at right angles to prevailing water currents to capture plankton drifting by, Chromis punctipinnis, Muricea californica Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island California bat ray in kelp forest, Myliobatis californica, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Giant kelp, blades, stipes and pneumatocysts, backlit by the sun in shallow water, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Boat Horizon above kelp forest, Macrocystis pyrifera, San Clemente Island Giant black sea bass, endangered species, reaching up to 8' in length and 500 lbs, amid giant kelp forest, Stereolepis gigas, Catalina Island Giant black sea bass, gathering in a mating - courtship aggregation amid kelp forest, Catalina Island, Stereolepis gigas   more ...

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Updated: November 20, 2017