said Scripps Institution of Oceanography research oceanographer Jules Jaffe, who led effort to build the microscope. The new scientific tool was used on capturing images of the millimeter-sized polyps that make up larger coral reefs. Researchers say polyps intertwine their tentacles and even press their mouths together in a sort of kiss. Two coral communities placed in close proximity competed for space by deploying extensions of their guts to waste away their competitors. Because many important biological processes in the ocean take place at microscopic scales, future experiments will possibly help scientists continue to better understand how small ocean organisms are responding to massive changes currently playing out in ocean ecosystems. “By developing these new technologies, we can explore new, unknown phenomena that we were never aware of,” Tali Treibitz, marine engineer, said.