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The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
McMurdo Station is the hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program. Since 1955, scientists have been coming to McMurdo primarily in the southern 'summer' months of October to February. Amidst the penguins and...
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...
“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious penguins waddled across an iceberg to get a closer look at us.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Phillip Colla . See more...
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...
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...
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...
The National Ice Center’s work is focused on ensuring safe and efficient navigation, but it also supports scientific research and provides crucial information used by scientists to better monitor and...
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...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with year-round cold and six months of darkness. But...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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