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The Ocean Blog

If you don’t like purple, you can look for this anemone (Condylactis sp.) in green. It comes in different colors and brightens a variety of Caribbean reef habitats, from lagoons to deeper waters.
Munch, munch. The queen parrotfish ( Scarus vetula ) scrapes algae from Caribbean coral reefs with its parrot-like beak. While feeding, hard stone and coral inevitably get mixed into its lunch, which...
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...
Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "My research team was using...
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...
What would you do if you came face to face with a shark ? Brian Skerry lives for these moments and is ready with his camera. Here he is seen photographing a large tiger shark on the seafloor near the...
This bearded fireworm ( Hermodice carunculata ) must have a strong stomach -- it’s sucking on fire coral ( Millepora sp. ), which would give the unlucky snorkeler a nasty sting. Encountered in St...
Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
A coral reef near Bocas del Toro, Panama recovers from a mass bleaching event that occurred in the summer of 2010. The tops contain some bleaching, but the sides look healthy. Smithsonian marine...
Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the mangrove, already exuding the confidence inherent of the supreme creature within its domain. It was hot here in Bimini...
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...
On a beach in Piña, Panama the tide is rolling out. Faint outlines of skeletal remains rise above the sand. Smithsonian scientists Nicholas Pyenson and Aaron O'Dea along with a team of students...
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