Documenting coral fossils, one cave at a time!

What type of corals do we find in the Cenotes?

We have a broad idea but believe it or not, the coral species inside the caves have never been scientifically documented. Most corals in the caves are scleractinian (hard corals) and we have found boulder, encrusting and branching corals of a great variety of species.

How did the project start?

I have been diving caves for a few years but my previous background in coral reef monitoring gave me a solid knowledge of coral species. I started documenting coral fossils in the cenotes but I couldn’t find information about them, until I realized that if no one had done it, I had to do it myself! I have gathered a close team of divers and scientists that now work with me in this quest.

How do we document coral fossils in caves?

I developed a method for data collection that includes macro photography, taking information ofthe type of coral, characteristics of the fossil, and the environment where it is located. Location of the fossils are mapped with Mnemo and Ariane’s Line and all information is then saved in an online database developed for the project.