At The Museum

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Turbinolia stephensoni

Ocean Objects of Wonder

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:...

Searching for Crustaceans in the Deep Sea

In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes viewers with her as she searches for crustaceans in the deep sea . She's particularly interested in finding squat lobsters , which despite their...
A variety of plankton images from the Gulf Stream

STREAMCODE – Planktonic Diversity of the Gulf Stream

A powerful ocean current, the Gulf Stream, transports warm seawater, nutrients and organisms from the Gulf of Mexico northward along the U.S. East Coast and across the North Atlantic up towards Europe. The movement...
Two nurse sharks hover over a baited cage

Shark Snapshot - Saving sharks with an underwater photoshoot

Tawny nurse sharks are common visitors to FinPrint's baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs). Here, two swim in the Ashmore Reef off the West Coast of Australia. Credit: Global FinPrint Sharks make headlines, but we...

Investigating Nutrient Pollution's Impact on Mangroves

At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center...
A variety of jellyfish

It’s All in the (Jellyfish) Family

They may not all look the same, but cnidarians all have cells that are specially designed for stinging. Credit: Allen Collins, Smithsonian By Kalila Morsink With their huge number of venomous stinging cells, jellyfish...
The shell of a sea slug

A Microscopic Identity Crisis

Using DNA to identify larval species in the Gulf Stream When swimming in the water, the planktonic sea snail, Diacria trispinosa , flutters two wings much like a butterfly. When they retract their bodies...
Fish app

There’s an App for That: Using Phones to Help Make Fishing Sustainable

Video of Linking Communities to Fisheries Science By Emily Frost There’s an app for everything these days. Many of our modern-day problems can be matched with modern-day technology. So, when looking at the issue...
Walter Adey and the NMNH coral reef tank

The Evolution of a Reef Aquarium

Adey in front of the original reef microcosm in the National Museum of Natural History. Credit: Smithsonian Institution Archives In the late 1970s, Walter Adey, a paleobiologist and coral reef researcher at the National...
Tiny organisms found on ARMS

Traveling Around the World to Study the Future of the Ocean

By Dulce It takes three days of traveling to reach the islands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Laetitia Plaisance , a researcher at...
Kopelman Watercolor Detail

Up Close and Personal with a Mangrove Root

Kopelman's watercolors focus on the beautiful sponges that attach to mangrove roots. Credit: Irene Kopelman I got a lot of funny looks at the airport when I opened the oversized cooler for the baggage...
A boat with divers in Clifton Cove

Wood Under Sand: The Search for A Slave Shipwreck

Archaeologists working on the site of the São José. Credit: Jon Sharfman, courtesy Slave Wrecks Project by Danielle Hall An untimely storm with whipping gusts of wind and tumultuous waves, a sweeping current that...
Foraminifera

Trials and Tribulations with Contamination

My internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History started off without a hitch. I was excited to look through the microscope at samples collected from halfway across the world in Papua New...
Tiny organisms found on ARMS

From Field to Lab: How Carbon Seeps Provide a Chance to See Future Impacts of Ocean Acidification

By Sarah Leinbach Every year, humans spew billions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas. The world’s oceans absorb some of it,...
Coral Spawning by Moonlight

A Tale of Sex and Stress in the Ocean

A coral has just spawned. Each of the hundreds of polyps releases a small pink bundle of sperm and eggs. Credit: Raphael Williams Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series...

Celebrating the Raven Spirit Canoe Launch

November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning about the Raven Spirit Canoe , a craft that was carved in Alaska by master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlinget Nation...
A screenshot of some of Smithsonian's marine story windows in Google Earth

What Lives in the Gulf of Mexico? Exploring Marine Collections on Google Earth

When he was 10 years old, Stephen Cairns lived in Cuba where he kept a collection of butterflies and sea shells. When his family moved to Louisiana, he could bring only one of the...

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