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Marine Parasites: Crazy…and Really Cool!

The whitish spots on this fish are individual parasitic trematode worms. Credit: Hans Hillewaert Marine parasites may be small in size, but they can be present in very high numbers and put together can...
The elusive giant squid

Reflections on the Successful Search for the Giant Squid

This still of a giant squid is from the first video filmed of the species in its natural habitat. Credit: NHK/NEP/Discovery Channel I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since...
A ribbon worm curled up in a mud flat.

The Search for an Elusive Ribbon Worm

A Hubrechtia ribbon worm, found after a long day of searching in mud flats in Fort Pierce, Florida. Credit: Eduardo Zattara, Smithsonian Institution With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on...
An underwater photo of a school of jacks and a scuba diver

Release Your Inner Blue Poet

"I was photographing this beautiful school of jacks when a diver slowly approached from beneath. I shifted my position to capture the moment he entered the ball of fish. Seconds later, he was completely...
The Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall

Celebrating the Ocean With New Museum Exhibits

The Sant Ocean Hall is the National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique and breathtaking introduction to the majesty of the ocean Credit: Flickr User M.V. Jantzen A lot...

Time Lapse Construction of the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall

Watch the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall come to life in this two minute time lapse video. The Sant Ocean Hall is the National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique...
A nudibranch showing a closeup of their fleshy, tentacle-like growths, called cerata.

How Sea Slugs Steal the Defenses of Their Prey

Many tentacle-like outgrowths, called cerata (singular: ceras), project off the back of this aeolid nudibranch. After the nudibranch eats the tentacles of a jellyfish, anemone, coral, or other stinging animal, the stolen stinging cells...
Fossil Whale Digsite at Cerro Ballena, Chile

The Whale Graveyard Whodunit

Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in Atacama Region, Chile, in 2011. Credit: Adam Metallo / Smithsonian Institution One of the ocean's tiniest...
A bull shark's ability to prey on many different species is helped by its capacity to survive in both freshwater and saltwater.

Smithsonian Stunt Turns Ocean Hall into Living Aquarium

A bull shark eating one of its many species of natural prey. Credit: DougWood2013, Flickr Natural History Museum transforms Ocean Hall into live aquarium for World Oceans Day The National Museum of Natural History...
Ocean Portal Logo

World Oceans Day 2014 Events

Come join us for events celebrating World Oceans Day and beyond at the National Museum of Natural History ! SUNDAY JUNE 8 – World Oceans Day The Great Adventures of Austin Clark and the...
Small red hyperiid.

The Hyper Eyes of Hyperiids: How Some Shrimp-Like Creatures See Light in the Deep Sea

Hyperiid amphipods are small crustaceans related to sand fleas and distantly related to shrimp. They range in size from very tiny to more than 7 inches long, and are found at all depths of...
A diver clears the bottom of a cargo ship of specimens.

Unearthing Information About Invasives From the Bottom of a Cargo Ship

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) ecologist, Ian Davidson, is under the belly of a cargo ship collecting specimens. Credit: Laurie Penland, Smithsonian I am once again leaving my familiar world behind and descending into...
A submersible explores the deep reefs off of Curacao in the Caribbean.

Exploring Deep Reef Ecosystems in a Submersible: The Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP)

The Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) is a Smithsonian research program launched to explore marine life and monitor changes on deep reefs in the southern Caribbean. Found below SCUBA diving depths, deep reefs may...
A 3-D reconstruction of the skull of a fin whale fetus.

Keeping An Ear Out For Whale Evolution

The yellow features in this 3-D reconstruction of a fin whale fetal skull represent the early developmental stages of ear bones, characteristics that are extremely rare, fragile and nearly impossible to study via traditional...
'Blue Marble' satellite image of the Earth

World Ocean Day 2015 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Here at the Ocean Portal, we celebrate the ocean every day. But one time a year—for World Ocean Day—we invite you to join us in special celebrations honoring that great, salty body of water...

Last Chance to See Your Photos Alongside Brian Skerry's at NMNH!

Brian Skerry is a world-renowned underwater photographer and journalist with decades of experience. He combines artistic vision and passion for the ocean with deep knowledge of photographic principles and specialized tools to create powerful...

Bugs and Slugs: The Hidden Secret to Healthy Seagrasses

Neptune grass ( Posidonia oceanica ) is a slow-growing and long-lived seagrass native to the Mediterranean. Credit: Gaynor Rosier/Marine Photobank Slip into the water along a sheltered coast in nearly any part of the...

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