Marine Life

The Ocean Blog

Even if you aren't a hardcore birder, chances are you have some hidden love for penguins. These flightless birds have captured our hearts through countless movies, beautiful images and their adorable...
Oceanic birds are a rare treat to see because these birds are not casual visitors to our coastline—to see them you normally have to get on a boat. So late last spring I was amazed to find hundreds of...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
Marine parasites may be small in size, but they can be present in very high numbers and put together can weigh even more than all the top predators in an estuary or bay ecosystem! They play an...
In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over tropical seas, but fish dangling from the beaks of flying puffins. Puffins are...
Last week, we began asking visitors to the Ocean Portal a simple question: “How do you feel about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?" We’ve received one Haiku and a slew of other interesting...
Over the past several decades, Florida’s coastal wetlands have been changing. Along the eastern shore, researchers have seen small mangrove trees appearing in areas further north than they usually...
Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world. It’s a great opportunity—even for those of us who do not fish for a living—to...
Ever since fourth grade I’ve wanted to explore the creatures and landscapes of the deep ocean in a submersible. It took awhile, but I finally got my chance this summer as part of the Deep Reef...
My father once told me that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who believe that the world is divided into two kinds of people and those who don’t. Wherever you come down on this...
The open ocean is surprisingly barren to the naked eye. Every now and again you will encounter a school of fish and their attendant predators, but most of the life that you find is gathered around...
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (or the GBR as it is known to reef aficionados) stretches for more than 2,300 kilometers (over 1,429 miles) and can be seen from outer space. This largest barrier reef...
Sometimes called the rainforests of the sea, coral reefs are incredibly diverse and complicated systems. Because of this complexity, it can be a challenge to manage and protect reefs—and sometimes...
Last week, the United Nations’ World Heritage Convention went blue. Two of the largest and healthiest marine protected areas on our planet—the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati and...
Starting this Sunday, August 1st, the fins will be circling on a television near you. Sunday kicks off The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” an annual TV ritual that offers hours of programming about...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau . This fish exhibits many primitive...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the journal Science . Researchers assessed the range and populations...
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