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From parrotfish that cover themselves in a blanket of their own mucus to tiny pygmy sea horses, there are some bizarre sea creatures that live in coral reefs . In this slideshow you can explore some...
Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they live. Last week Dr...
Discovering new species is an exciting quest, right? Well, some parts are—but after you find a cool-looking organism that you think is a new species, there's a lot more to be done. You have to...
These Pacific cephalopods illustrate the wide diversity among this group of mollusks. You can learn about a relative, the giant squid ( Architeuthis dux ), in our Giant Squid section.
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...
Scientists journey to the isolated island of Moorea on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers—from mountaintop to seafloor. Get up close and personal with researchers...
Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely new ecosystem is revealed. The twisting mangrove roots, some of which don’t make it to the seafloor, support a great...
The Curasub departs for a deep sea dive, up to 1,000 feet off the island of Curaçao, where this sub is located. Smithsonian's Deep Sea Observation Project (DROP) is exploring these waters and using...
Climate and sea changes in the Southern Ocean create conditions that favor the growth of salps over krill , the latter of which are a vital food source for seals, whales, and penguins. Salps are...
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...
The largest of the cuttlefish species, Australian Giant Cuttlefish ( Sepia apama ) delight scientists each year as they gather in masses to spawn in northern Spencer Gulf, northwest of Adelaide in...
The fish at left stands out against the lighter waters above. At right the same fish—now with bioluminescent structures on its underside lit—blends in. Many deep sea creatures have evolved this...
Sarah Gotheil, from IUCN Global Marine Programme , snapped this photo in the course of her research into fragile species and ecosystems. A new project led by IUCN will unveil the mysteries of...
The Census of Marine Life was a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” The international effort to asses the diversity,...
This photo of Kingman’s Reef in the Line Islands shows what a healthy coral reef should look like. The water is crystal clear. A variety of richly colored corals carpet the seabed. And a native...
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
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...
How do we know what coral reefs looked like hundreds of years ago? Often times, we are simply left wondering. Scientists can get an idea from naturalist recordings, but there are many unknowns and...
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