More Biodiversity

These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called...
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...
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.
Collect, sort, identify, photograph, sample, record. Repeat a couple thousand times. This is what the students and researchers have been doing as the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC)...
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...
Fitting nine of anything on two fingers is impressive. These mollusks and echinoderms are a teeny-tiny sample of the ocean's biodiversity. The Census of Marine Life estimates that there are at least...
The island of Moorea is a natural laboratory for scientists on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. Head out into the field and watch as researchers use cutting-...
The Tubbataha Reefs National Park site in the Philippines was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993. The site is an example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 m (330 ft)...
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...
The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean...
There are different types of beaches and multiple factors that influence the formation of sand. Many beaches may look alike, but they are actually very different from each other. Wave patterns,...
Depending on whom you talk to, jellyfish are either fascinating, a nuisance, a toxic menace, or some combination of the above. Jellyfish plop into the media spotlight when their presence causes beach...
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...
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...
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...
Marine World Heritage is a prestigious list of 43 marine ecosystems and biodiversity treasures from across the globe, including countries such as Australia, Iceland, Russia, South Africa, the...
Corals are just one of the many marine life forms that can be modeled in crochet. Jellyfish, like the one pictured here, starfish, sea snails, and kelp are some of the other organisms that...
You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s...
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