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The Ocean Blog

How biodiverse is one coral reef compared to another? To find out, in Spring 2012, Smithsonian scientist Chris Meyer his students in the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) course counted...
Mangroves canopies support an amazing array of life—including this mangrove yellow warbler ( Dendroica petechia bryanti ), the most common songbird in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay...
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 ."
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...
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...
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...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
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 Hanse Explorer crew used a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV , capable of diving to depths greater than 300 feet (91 meters). The ROV helped the crew document life in the waters off...
Dr. Claude Payri, a researcher working on the Moorea Biocode Project , collects samples on the reef slope of Moorea, French Polynesia. More about the Island of Moorea can be found in our Scientists...
Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been known to get as large as 18 meters (60 feet). The smallest fits in your hand. And the great white shark is somewhere in the...
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...
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...
Smithsonian researchers collected a cave basslet ( Liopropoma mowbrayi ) from the deep reefs of Curaçao , in the southern Caribbean. They used a state-of-the-art submersible to obtain the specimen...
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...
Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day seagrasses. This sea invasion by land plants happened four separate times,...
This nearly complete giant squid washed up on a beach in Norway around 1950. Almost everything we know about giant squid comes from the scientific study of dead specimens like this one. More about...
This is the first photograph of a live giant squid ( Architeuthis ) in its natural habitat. It was taken in 2004 by two Japanese researchers who had suspended a long line from their research vessel...
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