More Adaptations

The Ocean Blog

Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own...
Sharks have young in three different ways. After internal fertilization, some species lay a thick egg case that encloses the shark embryo (seen in the photo here). Most species are ovoviviparous,...
This red octopod ( Stauroteuthis syrtensis ) shines in a novel way. Suckers stretching in a single row down each arm flash on and off. The glowing-sucker octopod drifts through deep waters off the...
Several species of amphipod like this one, Gammarus wilkitzkii , live permanently within Arctic sea ice . These animals are endemic, meaning they only live here. They acclimate to a wide range of...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
Arching mangrove roots like these help keep trunks upright in the soft sediments at water’s edge. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
This shadowy fish, Trematomus bernacchii , is well adapted to the ice-cold water of the Antarctic: its blood comes equipped with natural antifreeze. This is a necessary adaptation because the...
A smasher mantis shrimp came out from its burrow on a fringing reef adjacent to the USS Liberty ship wreck in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia at a depth of 6 meters. The smashers use their raptorial claw...
At the Poles, Life Thrives Located beside the Shores and Shallows gallery (which highlights different kinds of coastal ecosystems around the world), the Poles area will take you to the ends of the...
With gnarled teeth and a perpetual frown, the sea wolf is a creature out of our nightmares! But despite its fearsome look, it isn't a danger to humans, largely preying on whelks, crabs, and sea...
Like many deep sea creatures, this tiny comb jelly ( Bathocyroe fosteri ) has a transparent body, enabling it to blend into the surrounding waters. This ctenophore is very common around the Mid-...
Claws, spines, spikes, tentacles, and fangs. Aliens, monsters, and ghostly apparitions glowing in the night. Marine life forms have some of the best looks for Halloween—no costumes needed. From...
This tiny, shrimplike creature is no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long, but it’s as ferocious as a shark. Its giant eyes spot prey. Huge claws grab the prey, and a tiny mouth rips it to shreds...
This beautiful jewel squid ( Histioteuthis bonnellii ) can be found swimming above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, at depths of 500-2,000 meters (1,640-6,562 feet). The “jewels” covering the body are...
Nudibranchs are a kind of sea slug, and their 3000 species are found from the poles to the tropics in both shallow and deep water. Though they often only reach two centimeters in length, they are...
A thresher shark’s long tail fin helps not only its swimming ability, but also its ability to hunt. It can use the fin to herd and trap schooling fish by swimming in increasingly smaller circles...
Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows...
Even on an early winter morning, it was sunny and warm in southern Florida. This was great because, regardless of the weather, Dr. Jon Norenburg and I were going to walk chest-deep into the water to...
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