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The Ocean Blog

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...
The white body of the snow petrel blends in with the stark Antarctic landscape, accentuating the beautiful black eyes and beak of this seabird. They hunt in the sea ice, feeding on krill and fish...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Seasons in the Ross Sea are marked by ice freezing and melting, and these processes mix the seawater and redistribute salt and nutrients. The influx of nutrients cause phytoplankton to bloom, forming...
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...
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...
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...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is...
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...
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...
An isopod stands on top of a glass sponge, extending its legs to find zooplankton. This delicate sponge is small, but some glass sponges can grow to the size of a 50-gallon drum and live for...
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...
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...
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...
Hedbergella sliteri - this specific specimen is the "holotype" for this species. That means it is the reference point for what all members of the species should look like. This specimen was...
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