This image of a large elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) was taken by NOAA photographer David Burdick in the waters off the coast of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. Elkhorn coral is a type of coral known as an acropora. This is considered to be one of the most important reef-building corals in the Caribbean Sea. It has also recently been discovered in the Pacific ocean. It is structurally complex with many large branches resembling that of elk antlers. These branches create habitats for many other reef species.