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The Ocean Blog

A right whale opens its mouth wide, revealing huge plates of baleen hanging from its upper jaw. There are between 200 and 270 baleen plates on each side of a right whale's upper jaw. They work like a...
Smithsonian Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow, Seabird McKeon, returns from the Smithsonian field site in Belize. Together with Dan Barshis of Stanford University, Seabird reports on the...
Great White Sharks breach to hunt -- with split-second timing they grab an unsuspecting seal or sea lion in one swift snatch. Follow the action in this slideshow of a breaching sequence .
This magnified photo provides a close-up look at copepods—tiny crustaceans that right whales feed on. There are many species of copepods that live throughout the water column, from floating at the...
One of the smallest shearwaters in the Atlantic, Audubon's Shearwater ( Puffinus lherminieri ) is about the size of an American Robin. They breed on small islands in the Carribbean, and commonly...
Ever heard of a cookie-cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis )? They look like your average shark —sort of menacing and streamlined—but their name comes from how they feed. They eat smaller animals (...
Great White Sharks breach to hunt -- with split-second timing they grab an unsuspecting seal or sea lion in one swift snatch. Follow the action in this slideshow . Learn more about the great white...
A veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ) briefly leaves its hiding spot, a seafloor shell, to devour a crab.
The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish, uses it's fang-like teeth to grab prey in its deep-sea environment . Like other deep-sea organisms, dragonfish have...
Ochre seastars ( Pisaster ochraceus ) feed on invertebrates, such as coral and shellfish, like the mussels pictured here. The starfish forces open the shell with suction disks on the underside of its...
Phoenix is seen skim feeding off the coast of Maine in August 2004. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
Snow on land can make some people grumpy, but the magical-looking flakes and a beautiful layer on the trees can turn even disenchanted adults into gleeful children again. But what is the ocean...
This bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are near by gathering tightly together in a ball-like formation that exposes the least number of fish. Fish species found in the...
Frogfish are skilled hunters and some species are capable of blending into local environments such as coral reefs . A frogfish can camouflage itself so well that prey fish will swim close by without...
The fringed baleen plates are easy to observe as this North Atlantic right whale skims the water’s surface while it feeds. Many baleen whales suck in as much water was possible, and then push it out...
These "elevator" rudists, an ancient bivalve , used one long heavy valve to anchor themselves in the sediment. They used their tentacles (shown here in pink) to filter food from the sea water...
The goblin shark ( Mistukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense...
Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air. Their dives can last over an hour when they are looking for an opening in the...
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