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The Ocean Blog

Beluga whales are naturally vocal animals. They are often called “ canaries of the sea ” thanks to their wide repertoire of sounds such as whistles, squeals, moos, chirps, and clicks. Some...
An Arctic cod rests in an ice-covered space. View the “ Under Arctic Ice ” photo essay.
Dryodora glandiformis is a ctenophore found in Arctic and Northern European waters, bearing a pair of long and lovely tentacles.
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
The Arctic comb jelly or sea nut ( Mertensia ovum ) is commonly found in the surface (top 50 meters) in cold, northern waters. Like other cydippid ctenophores, it has two tentacles fringed with...
Arctic scientists study a range of marine animals – from large species like polar bears to the microscopic, like phytoplankton. The amount of phytoplankton at different depths can tell us about the...
In many species of copepods , males are rare and short-lived. This male of Scaphocalanus acrocephalus is readily distinguished from the female by features of his antennae and tail. View the “Under...
The polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) is found in the Arctic and classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This marine mammal can swim more than 30 miles when sea...
Bottom trawl treasures from the shallow Chukchi Seafloor near the Canada Basin: sea stars , brittle stars , clams, some snails and crabs. View the “Under Arctic Ice ” photo essay to learn more.
The Boreoatlantic armhook squid ( Gonatus fabricii ) is named for its fabulous (but dangerous) suckers. While most squids have just two rows of suckers lining each arm, armhook squids have four—and...
Expedition data went to the Arctic Ocean Diversity database of the Census of Marine Life to establish a baseline that will help to document change in the poorly known Arctic Ocean. Scientist Kevin...
The Arctic Studies Center's excavation site map of Hare Harbor maps some of the community's excavated structures that archeologists have unearthed. An Inuit house, blacksmith shop, and cookhouse are...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologists have been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada . The site and the artifacts that have been recovered has...
Many expeditions in the Arctic reveal new species, such as this jellyfi sh Bathykorus bouilloni , which, strangely, has only four tentacles! Dr. Kevin Raskoff from California State University,...
Found in Arctic waters, this rare deep-water species of larvacean , Oikopleura gorskyi , eats by filtering particles from the seawater it drifts through. Larvaceans build 'houses' around themselves...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having already learned to hunt large whales in the Bay of Biscay in the 13th through 15th centuries, Basques began arriving in the...
Special ships called ‘icebreakers’ are needed to access some areas of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean .
Benthic scientists are interested in the creatures that live on and in the seafloor and inside the sediments. Here they haul up mud from the Arctic seafloor to examine for animals.
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