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The Ocean Blog

Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
Is it lights out for corals once they have experienced a bleaching event? Not necessarily. This photo shows a coral reef near Bocas del Toro, Panama that is in the process of recovering from a mass...
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another world during a voyage of discovery. While Curiosity is clicking pictures millions of miles away, I am privileged to be...
While conducting field work in Curaçao in 2011, Smithsonian researchers encountered trash along remote beaches and deep in the water column. This video gives a brief glimpse of some of the marine...
A still from a video documenting a remote beach in Curaçao that's been blanketed in plastic garbage. You can read how this marine debris impacted on researcher on our blog .
Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
At night this lemon shark ( Negaprion brevirostris ) lurks at the surface, but often during the day they will lie on the ocean bottom. This behavior had been thought to save them energy, but in...
Sea cucumbers might have a cucumber shape, but are definitely animal, not vegetable… or fruit. They belong to the Phylum Echinodermata , which also includes sea urchins, sand dollars, sea stars and...
We drove down a long dirt road on the northern side of Curaçao looking for a remote place to snorkel and sample. After a 30-minute bumpy ride, our team stepped out of the car into a breeze and the...
This fish belongs to a group of anglerfishes known as lophiiformes . This species, along with other anglerfishes, has a modified dorsal-fin spine, usually on the tip of the snout, which serves as a...
A mangrove tree crab ( Aratus pisonii ) clings to a leaf near the Smithsonian Institution’s marine laboratory on Galeta Island, Panama, part of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute . During...
A lemon shark pup swims through a shallow mangrove forest off the coast of Bimini Island in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years...
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have evolved to inhabit warm waters near the equator and the icy waters of the Earth’s poles. Marine life takes advantage of the...
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...
A time-lapse video shows researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute racing to excavate the fossil of an extinct toothed whale...
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...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
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...
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