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The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
As a geological oceanographer at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Dr. Maggie Toscano has made a career of documenting how coastal systems have changed over thousands of years in...
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...
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.
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 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 .
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...
Jorge and I packed up the night we arrived in Panama with Aaron O'Dea and his team from STRI . The road we took in two field vehicles mostly followed the Panama Canal heading northwards; we had to...
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...
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...
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...
Morgan’s most daring exploit was the capture and destruction of Panama City after a grueling march through the Central American jungle with 2,000 buccaneers. To survive, some of the buccaneers ate...
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. But Smithsonian scientists discovered that what were thought to be three species of the fish are actually 10...
A “pink meanie” jellyfish ( Drymonema larsoni )—a species found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean—feeds on a moon jelly ( Aurelia ). Dr. Keith Bayha from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Dr...
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...
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