At The Museum

LATEST POSTS

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...

Break On Through

"Break On Through" was taken by Wendy Wolf at California's Pfeiffer Beach. This photo was a winning selection in the Portraits of Planet Ocean Flickr contest. Credit: Wendy Wolf I took this shot at...

December in Malibu

"December in Malibu" by Andrew Richards Credit: Andrew Richards Shooting seascapes often involves hiking on very delicate rock formations near tidepools and reefs full of plant and marine life. The photographer has to be...

Take a Virtual Submarine Dive to the Deep

You can explore the Curasub from your computer! Inspect, launch, board and recover to get an idea of what it's like to mann an underwater submersible. Credit: Courtesy of Curasub A manned submersible is...
A submersible explores the deep reefs off of Curacao in the Caribbean.

Keeping Exploration Alive With Manned Submersibles

Video of Why are manned submersibles important? Smithsonian research zoologist Carole Baldwin answers the question "why are manned submersibles important?" The Ocean Portal was lucky enough to join the Deep Reef Observation Project team...
An unidentified earplug from the National Museum of Natural History collection.

Whale Earwax: What You Can Learn From Strange Collections

An unidentified earplug from the National Museum of Natural History collection. The light and dark layers come from a build up of keratin and lipids and can be used to estimate whale age. Credit:...

Biocubes: Life In One Cubic Foot

Credit: © David Liittschwager How much life can you find in one cubic foot? The answer will surprise you. It turns out, quite a lot! Biocubes are hollow one foot cubic frames, that can...
Aegina, a type of jellyfish, swims through the water.

The Surprising Elegance of Midwater Sea Life

Imagine a hollow cube, measuring one foot on each side, suspended in the ocean at a depth roughly three football fields below the surface. From here, the seafloor is another 4,000 feet (or 1,200...
Corals, sponges, and algae are the major components of most coral reef communities as shown in this picture.

World Ocean Day 2016 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...
The colorful parrotfish sculpture is made entirely of ocean plastic trash.

Turning Ocean Trash to Treasure

Decided you want to make a difference? World Ocean Day is a great day to begin! You can start with a few simple changes .

When Did Today’s Whales Get So Big?

More recently than you might think, say scientists who scoured the fossil record Two skulls belonging to extinct marine mammal herbivores used in the new study, both from the Smithsonian’s collections. Credit: A. Boersma...
A hippopotamus-like creature swims underwater

Flippers or Feet? An Extinct Mammal May Have Been Replaced By Today's Sea Cows

In the seagrass beds and kelp forests of the Oligocene-Miocene transition, nearly 32.5 to 10.5 million years ago, a four-legged, gnarly-toothed mammal roamed the Northern Pacific shores of what is now Japan, Canada and...

MarineGEO: A Global Research Network

The Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), directed by the Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON), is the first long-term, worldwide research program to focus on understanding coastal marine life and its role in maintaining...

Living on the Edge: Mangroves

Mangroves are the biological buffers between land and sea. Without them, communities living along shorelines would be directly exposed to violent storm surge and erosion. Also crucial to fish communities, mangroves provide fertile nursery...

The Smithsonian Marine Collections

A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.

Pages