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If you were choreographing a dance about the ocean, how would you do it? Would you dart around like a lobster in a hurry? Dive like a dolphin? Float like a jellyfish? Choreographer Fran...
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This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue,...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Editor's Note: See more information and details about the organisms displayed...
The “Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef,” a unique exhibition and thought-provoking...

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There are about 4 million specimens in the fish collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History . It is the largest of its kind in the world. Learn how these collections helped to solve an international scientific...
A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their...
Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's Sant Chair for Marine Science, puts up an...

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A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here,...
Rachel Caauwe was one of a dozen artists who spent a recent Saturday sketching specimens from the Smithsonian's musky-scented marine mammal collection . Here she's shown drawing the remains of a...
Dr. Stephen Cairns is a research zoologist and chair of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the diversity,...
These corals from the Smithsonian collections are Stephanocyathus (A.) spiniger , a solitary, deep-water stony coral species. Around 74% of all deep-water corals are solitary, living as individual...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize human connection to the ocean. As you look through the center of the Ocean Hall, past the model right whale , you can see a...
Large whales are notoriously hard to study. Except when rising to breathe, they swim beneath the ocean's surface out of human sight, which makes it difficult to find and track them. They often live...
Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and...
The first underwater robotic vehicle—or “glider”—to cross an ocean is the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian. Rutgers University professor Scott Glenn explains that the technology is now...
Two young visitors to the Sant Ocean Hall learn about the coral reef tank with one of our friendly volunteer docents. Both the Ocean Portal and the Museum's free public programs are made possible in...
Smithsonian zoologist Dr. Steve Cairns named and described this deep-sea coral species, Stephanocyathus paliferus, which is now preserved in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History...
Chris Mah, Research Collaborator, Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
A model marker applies paint to the life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix which today is on exhibit in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National...
"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon , a resident of Maryland. The artist showcased his craft for visitors at the Smithsonian's National...
It was a typical summer day in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors were examining the giant squid and marveling at the life-size replica of Phoenix, the right...
Nick Pyenson, the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, points to the skull and skeleton of a fossil "toothed" mysticete ( baleen whale ) on the...
In the past 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef -- Australia's iconic natural wonder -- has lost half of its coral to a combination of forces. Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science at the...
CREDIT: Chris Kenaley The Mystery Develops Flash forward to 1956, when scientists described another new kind of fish. It was named the tapetail because of its long, streamer-like tail. It also had a...
The People's Reef, a part of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef , from above. The HCCR was created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring and is on exhibit at Smithsonian's...
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