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New in ZIMS: Species360 improves how data is recorded on coral colonies

Available immediately, Species360 now provides more ways to record coral colony measurements in the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS).

This update to the data standards is a significant improvement to recording data on coral and will support members in providing the highest levels of care for their coral species. Aquarists can track how well and quickly their corals are growing and make evidence-based decisions on how best to care for their colonies. 

The new measurements are specific to coral colonies and allow users to add more length measurements for Anthozoans or Hydrozoans – the taxons including all species of coral and anemones. 

Here is a look at the newly added measurement types

  • Colony Maximum Diameter – a straight length that is the longest flat measurement across the colony. 
  • Colony Width – longest straight-line measurement perpendicular to the diameter.
  • Colony Height – a straight line measurement vertically from the highest point to the lowest point (base of colony), parallel to its axis of growth. 
  • Live proportion of colony (percent)  – a measurement of the percentage of living tissue. 

The addition of percentage of living tissue measurement was highly requested by our members, and we are pleased to be able to launch this. The measurement is especially useful for the care and welfare of coral species to see how well they are thriving in their environments. It can signify when corals need additional attention when the percentage starts decreasing. 

The measurement of living tissue can also help coral conservation projects bringing in coral from the wild with unhealthy tissue; this measurement allows you to track how they flourish in human care.

ZIMS Quick Tips: The coral length measurements can easily be put into a template, such as the animal length or husbandry log templates, for faster and more efficient data entry. 

Users can also make use of the Animal Graphing Tool to compare coral growth rates over time.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 

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