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The Ocean Blog

As it clings to a red sea fan, a feather star ( Cenometra bella ) gently waves its slender arms—filtering bits of food from the water. Also known as sea lilies, feather stars are related to sea stars...
When you think of African animals, what do you think of? Probably the “Big Five:” lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos. But Africa also has an incredible amount of marine diversity in the...
This male giant squid is on display in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History . It measures about 2.7 meters (9 feet) long and weighs a little more than 45.5...
We have arrived as the advanced scouting party to the scene of this year's field work location: Pemuteran, a small fishing village in northwest Bali. More importantly, we are sitting squarely at the...
Smithsonian zoologists inside the Curasub , a 5-person submersible. They're exploring the biodiversity of the deep reefs off Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Read more and watch videos about the...
Male fiddler crabs, like this one collected on Moorea, wave their enlarged claw as way of signaling to other crabs, especially during mating season. Learn more about the Island of Moorea in the...
Enric Sala has spent much of his career looking for the ocean's "time machines" -- areas rich in biodiversity and largely unaffected by humans. In this recorded webcast , Sala, a National Geographic...
The incredible variety of marine life—in numbers, body form, behavior, and more—is at the heart of Citizens of the Sea , an irresistible plunge into the surprising world beneath the waves. Author...
A scorpion found in a mangrove. More about mangrove ecosystem can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a feel for the ocean's diversity, scientists, such as those involved in the Census of Marine Life , sail out on research...
Like other sea snakes , the turtle-headed sea snake ( Emydocephalus annulatus ) has fangs and venom. But its venom is weak so, instead of defending with a bite, the species tends to react to danger...
A variety of corals colonize the rocky surface of Manning Seamount, part of the New England Seamount Chain located in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This photo was...
You may not think of the ocean as a pharmacy but scientists are developing exciting new medicines from the sponges, corals, and other marine organisms found in the sea. Explore other videos that...
Coral reefs are bustling cities of marine life, until rising ocean temperatures turn them into ghost towns. Can reefs spring back from devastating bleaching events? In this episode of the Podcast of...
Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they differ in color, shape, and size. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
Sea stars are important members of marine ecosystems, especially in the tropics. We may think of tropical coral reefs as being home mainly to fish and corals, but in fact these habitats are home to a...
Far away from the volcanic CO 2 seeps, a healthy coral reef flourishes with a diversity of coral species. Closer to the seeps where the water is acidic, the corals barely even grow. Read more about...
Mangrove roots provide a support structure for filter-feeding organisms such as mussels, oysters, and barnacles. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
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