Defenses

A bonaire banded box jellyfish, Tamoya ohboya

Box Jellyfish: One Species at a Time

In this episode of the Podcast of Life , learn how three fiery, painful stings during an early morning swim in Hawaii changed the life of researcher Angel Yanagihara. Once the young biochemist had...
a marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus

Marine Iguanas: One Species at a Time

No iguana wants to be cooked alive on a hot rock and then served up as dinner for a Galapagos hawk. But it turns out the marine iguanas ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus ) have a...
Many medicines were based on a chemical from the sea sponge Tectitethya crypta.

Five Questions for Shirley Pomponi, Medical Sponge Hunter

Most scuba divers scour coral reefs looking for colorful fish, natural beauty, and maybe even the perfect underwater photo . Shirley Pomponi , a biologist at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, however,...
Squid at Sunset Reef Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Stunning Squid Pictures

From the giant squid to microscopic squid babies, squids are beautiful and fascinating. As cephalopods, the same family as octopuses and cuttlefish, they have no bones, and swim head-first through the water with their...

The Design of a Beautiful Weapon

Video of Claws Out: Fiddler Crabs Do Battle This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue, stone, or Dungeness, and a special treat will have been the big,...
A photo of a squid using bioluminescence to hide in the deep sea.

Bioluminescence

You may have seen the sparkle of fireflies on a summer’s night. The fireflies produce light through a chemical reaction in their glowing abdomens, a process known as bioluminescence. But did you know that...

Masters of Disguise

Octopuses are colorblind, but manage to blend into the background seamlessly—or stand out in bright color to startle their enemies. So how do they do it? That's the question Roger Hanlon of the Marine...
A blue-ringed octopus

How Octopuses and Squids Change Color

Video of Where's The Octopus? 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...
A nudibranch showing a closeup of their fleshy, tentacle-like growths, called cerata.

How Sea Slugs Steal the Defenses of Their Prey

Many tentacle-like outgrowths, called cerata (singular: ceras), project off the back of this aeolid nudibranch. After the nudibranch eats the tentacles of a jellyfish, anemone, coral, or other stinging animal, the stolen stinging cells...
A reddish-orange nudibranch.

A Collage of Nudibranch Colors

Nudibranchs are a kind of sea slug, and their 3000 species are found from the poles to the tropics in both shallow and deep water. Though they often only reach two centimeters in length,...

The Weird, Wonderful World of Bioluminescence

“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and...
Two nautiluses in the open ocean off the coast of Palau.

A Couple of Nautiluses

These two nautiluses ( Nautilus belauensis ) are pictured off the coast of Palau in the Pacific Ocean. There are six living species of nautilus who live in chambered shells. As they get bigger,...

Sharks are also afraid of shark attacks

Caribbean reef sharks are not the reef's top predator. A fearful reef shark flees from a great hammerhead in the Exumas, Bahamas. The video is taken using a baited remote underwater video (BRUV) as...

Jellyfish predate dinosaurs. How have they survived so long?

Gelatinous drifters that move in a mesmerizing way, jellyfish are beautiful creatures. But take a closer look and you'll see there's more to these creatures than a pretty picture. Some shoot a deadly venom,...