Marine Life

The Ocean Blog

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...
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting snapshots into the daily lives of whales , sharks , and even fish by tagging the animals to track their movements. You’ve...
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...
Any floating object in the ocean tends to attract life; fishermen know this and deploy floating buoys to concentrate fish for harvesting. Plastic marine debris is no different and, at microscopic...
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...
Pick up any news article about invasive species and you may confuse it with a police blotter. Generally, invasive species are "almost bulletproof" "marauders," "terrorizing" ecosystems and wildlife...
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...
Good real estate is hard to find. This is as true underwater as it is on land. So when Smithsonian scientist Dr. Matthieu Leray built 18 potential homes for undersea creatures living on oyster reefs...
Salmon are one of the most widely loved varieties of seafood in the world. A ubiquitous alternative to meat and poultry, salmon wear a halo of healthfulness, as they are rich in protein and omega-3...
Most people try to avoid rotting kelp at the beach. The feeling of a floating piece of seaweed wrapping around an ankle is enough to shake even the most steeled swimmer, and then there's the strong...
Whales swimming in the ocean are never really alone. Even if one swims by itself with no other whales for miles around, it still has company—the tiny microbes that live on its skin. For a long time,...
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...
Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs. In the modern ocean, only one species of seacow is found in each world region, however, the fossil record...
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes the belugas and narwhals swimming our ocean today, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, their fossil record, although scarce, suggests that...
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...
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 blanket octopus can rip a poisonous tentacle from a Portuguese man-o-war and wield it like a sword to ward off enemies as it soars through the ocean trailing its webbed cloak behind it...
Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom and gloom from the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. That is the time of year we typically study -- and celebrate -- the...
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