Scientists

The Ocean Blog

Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species such as the European green crab and the rough periwinkle (an Atlantic sea snail), warns a new study by a team of...
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...
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...
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...
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...
I became interested in weather phenomena when I took physics in high school. At the time, I just wanted to understand how various things in nature worked. Unfortunately, most information about...
Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another...
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
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...
I’m a high school student interested in pursuing marine science. I have loved the ocean since I was 3 feet tall and only getting my feet wet at the beach. I’m a senior in high school, and over the...
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,...
Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom. No, this is not bubblegum from some careless teenager’s shoe: it’s a stony kind of seaweed that, like other seaweeds,...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP drilling rig spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico and become one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the...
Microbes are some of the most important organisms in the sea. These miniscule organisms provide an important link in the food web between the dissolved nutrients in the ocean and larger organisms...
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...
We all know that hurricanes can have destructive effects on human communities and infrastructure—but what about their effects on coastal wetlands? Until Hurricane Katrina, no one had ever mapped...
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