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The Ocean Blog

Scripps scientist Gerald Kooyman's expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitat in Antarctica. Learn more about life at the poles or check out this emperor penguin...
Small amphipods, the blue bug-like creatures, can be seen here catching a ride on this enormous sea spider as it makes its way across the bottom. Many Antarctic creatures, like the dinner-plate-sized...
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...
Sea stars ( Odontaster validus ) and sea urchins ( Sterechinus neumayeri ) spread over an algae-covered seafloor off the coast of Antarctica. These two species are often found living in association...
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and can grow to be 100 pounds. This species breeds directly on the ice: a female lays her...
Looking through this iceberg's reflection in the Antarctic water, you can see the iceberg below the surface—some 90% of its total volume. Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice broken off of glaciers...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) can be found in Antarctic waters during the spring and summer in the Southern hemisphere, where they gorge on their main food source: tiny krill. How do they...
Bright colors seem to jump off of this comb jelly, or ctenophore. The rainbow effect appears when light emanates from comb jellies' namesake combs, which are rows of cilia that run up and down their...
The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “ The Last Ocean .” And it’s not just a ploy to get your attention. In...
The dark seafloor beneath the ice is covered with sea stars, urchins and ribbon worms looking for their next meal, which can come from sponges, dead animals that float to the sea floor, or even other...
The elegant Antarctic minke whale feeds on krill (tiny crustaceans) during the winter. Groups of minke whales often are found on the edges of pack ice feasting so that they can grow thick layers of...
Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke...
Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old restaurant menu can teach us about the history of fish populations? Or that...
Despite the cold and dark environment, soft-bodied animals like anemones abound under the ice. Using their sticky arms, they grab zooplankton, which can be hard to come by during the long winter with...
The New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1998. The islands are particularly notable for the abundance and diversity of nesting pelagic seabirds and...
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...
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...
Every year as the sun disappears for the winter, the surface waters around Antarctica freeze into a slab of ice 10-feet thick, which effectively doubles the size of the continent. In the summer, the...
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