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The Ocean Blog

In 1954 Smithsonian researchers dissected this squid specimen from the stomach of a lancetfish and added it to the Museum’s squid collection. Almost 50 years later, it helped scientists identify a...
This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered...
Humans have long been captivated by what we now call the giant squid ( Architeuthis ). This image gallery gives a glimpe into our fascination with the animal. For a long time, people saw mysterious...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here,...
Two California market squids ( Loligo opalescens ) mate in the waters off of California's Channel Islands. While spawning, the male's arms blush red as he embraces the female, a warning to other...
A mass of white muscle the size of a softball surrounds the dark brown beak of a giant squid. Learn more about this animal's oversized anatomy in our Giant Squid section .
This image from a scanning electron micrograph magnifies the tiny teeth that cover the surface of the giant squid’s tongue-like organ, or radula . Seven rows of sharp teeth help direct tiny pieces of...
Dampier was not able to collect specimens of fishes and other ocean life. But he had his shipboard artist carefully record the species that Dampier found new and unusual.
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
Weighing 600 pounds (around 272kg) and having a 30 foot (around 9 meters) arm span, the largest recorded giant pacific octopus was truly enormous. Giant pacific octopuses are powerful predators that...
Octopuses can change the texture and color of their skin to blend in with their surroundings. This day octopus ( Octopus cyanea ) has shaped itself like seagrass or some coral so hide from predators...
by Fox Meyer Squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes are among the few animals in the world that can change the color of their skin in the blink of an eye. These cephalopods —a group of mollusks with...
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...
For nearly 35 years, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has been immersing himself in the big blue to get the perfect underwater photograph. He admits that there will never will be a "...
A veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ) briefly leaves its hiding spot, a seafloor shell, to devour a crab.
This red octopod ( Stauroteuthis syrtensis ) shines in a novel way. Suckers stretching in a single row down each arm flash on and off. The glowing-sucker octopod drifts through deep waters off the...
The yellow bioluminescent ring on this female octopus ( Bolitaena pygmaea ) may attract mates. Bioluminescence is an important adaptation that helps many deep sea animals survive in their dark world...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside...
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