More Biodiversity

The Semaeostomes (the name translates to “flag mouths”) are an order of jellyfish exhibiting four long, frilly oral arms. Figures 1 and 2 in this set of illustrations portray a species Haeckel named...
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...
A specimen from the Smithsonian’s squid collection and videos of a mystery squid helped scientists identify a new family of deep sea squid—the Magnapinnidae, known as the bigfin squids. More about...
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...
Thousands of seamounts—most of them undersea volcanoes—tower above the muddy seafloor. They provide something hard to come by in the deep ocean : a solid surface to cling to. This photo gallery shows...
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...
Ever since fourth grade I’ve wanted to explore the creatures and landscapes of the deep ocean in a submersible. It took awhile, but I finally got my chance this summer as part of the Deep Reef...
Remotely located in the central Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii, the Line Islands provide a remarkable research opportunity. The archipelago includes coral reefs reflecting the whole spectrum of...
Smithsonian researchers are using this five-person submersible to study the biodiversity of the deep reefs of Curaçao in the southern Caribbean. Read about their adventures in the Summer in a Sub...
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...
A scorpion found in a mangrove. More about mangrove ecosystem can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish with elongated bodies, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. But things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish. Using genetic analysis...
The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth and is essential to all life. But forces of change, from overfishing to climate change, are affecting the ocean and humanity's relationship with it...
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...
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.
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...
Cashes Ledge is a wild, special place in the heart of the Gulf of Maine. This underwater mountain range is home to a great diversity of life, with colors typically associated with a coral reef rather...
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