More Adaptations

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...
The yellow bioluminescent ring on this female octopus ( Bolitaena pygmaea ) may attract mates. Bioluminescence is an important adaptation that helps many deep sea animals survive in their dark world...
You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in their glowing abdomens, a process known as bioluminescence. But did you know...
The corkwing wrasse, or gilt-head, changes color depending on its age, sex, and breeding season. For instance, during the breeding season, males have blue spotted fins and the middle of their scales...
Adaptation is the key word if you are looking to survive in a tide pool, a space that some scientists describe as the most competitive real estate in the ocean. Tide pools are exposed to the water's...
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 crab ( Neolithodes sp. ) was collected on a NOAA/MAR-ECO cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the summer of 2009. Its red color provides camouflage and protection from predators. Red wavelengths...
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...
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...
Check out the eyes on these Hawaiian squirrelfish ( Sargocentron xantherythrum )! Because squirrelfish are almost entirely nocturnal, they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as...
About 100 million years ago , during the heyday of the dinosaurs, reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams. Like modern clams, rudists were bivalves , with two shells (or valves) joined at a...
Earth’s first animals had soft bodies. This illustration shows a community of soft-bodied Ediacaran (edi-A-karan) animals. Some species resemble living ocean creatures. Others are unlike any known...
Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air. Their dives can last over an hour when they are looking for an opening in the...
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 bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are near by gathering tightly together in a ball-like formation that exposes the least number of fish. Fish species found in the...
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...
It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is icy cold and the light dim or absent. Yet believe it or not, lush coral...
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