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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,...
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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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This aptly named fish ( Anoplogaster cornuta ) has long, menacing fangs, but the adult fish is small, reaching only about 6 inches (17 cm) in length. It's teeth are the largest in the ocean in proportion to body size, and are so...
"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches...

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A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.
Within the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, scientists conduct original research on all 30 major invertebrate animal groups (phyla) of the world (except insects), and are stewards for the 35...
A life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix hangs in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. More about...
Artist Shih Chieh Huang creates work using plastic bags, household objects, computer cooling fans, LED lights, and other assorted materials. His 2011 solo exhibition, " The Bright Beneath: The...
I am once again leaving my familiar world behind and descending into the abyss below. The first dive of an entirely new expedition is the most magical. I am a member of a scientific research dive...
This male giant squid is on display in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History . It measures about 2.7 meters (9 feet) long and weighs a little more than 45.5...
Three dancers demonstrate the food web in the production Ocean , which blends dance with scientist interviews, facts, and ocean photography. The choreographer, Fran Spector Atkins, hopes dance will...
These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems from a range of latitudes.
A drawing of Phoenix from the Right Whale Catalog documents her callosity pattern and other identifying marks. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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...
The Smithsonian's Department of Invertebrate Zoology has a collection of over 57,000 specimens from over 5,700 sites in the Gulf of Mexico, which are now catalogued on Google Earth . Below is a tiny...
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 the ocean...
Charles Potter (left) and Dr. James Mead of the Smithsonian perform a post-mortem examination on a goose-beaked whale specimen sent to them by colleagues at Portland State University.
What does a bioluminescent creature that lives more than two miles below the surface of the ocean and a glow stick have in common? More than you think. Bioluminescence is the process by which living...
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,...
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...
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...
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 Spector...
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...
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