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The Ocean Blog

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...
The smallest shark, a dwarf lantern shark ( Etmopterus perryi ) is smaller than a human hand. It's rarely seen and little is known about it, having only been observed a few times off the northern tip...
Several Caribbean reef sharks swim over a coral reef in the Bahamas in this image captured by National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry. For nearly 30 years, Skerry has been swimming with and...
This shrimp farm in southern Belize is just one example of how mangroves worldwide are giving way to human development. In just the last decade, at least 35 percent of the world's mangroves have been...
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...
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...
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...
The Area de Conservación Guanacaste site in Costa Rica was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999. The site has the most intact inshore Pacific marine ecosystem between the Panama Canal Zone...
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...
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...
During the 2012 field season of the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) in Curaçao, Smithsonian scientists collected many specimens with the help of the Curasub . Prospective new species were caught...
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...
Dr. Ilka C. "Candy" Feller calls mangroves the 'nursery of the sea.' These important coastal habitats face many threats, including nutrient pollution from fertilizer runoff. That's the focus of much...
The spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the...
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...
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...
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 year in the waiting! During the summer of 2011, DROP researchers almost caught a sea toad off of Curaçao . However, when the sub crew tried to collect the sea toad with the sub's suction tube, the...
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