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Travel to the ends of the earth—literally—and discover the polar ocean basins. Both the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean are defined by ice and dramatic shifts between endless day and endless...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several...
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters," says one fish in this video. The world of drifters is the world of zooplankton...
In recent years, I have taken to watching flying fish along the Maine coast. Not the usual flying fish that skim over tropical seas, but fish dangling from the beaks of flying puffins. Puffins are...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
Coral reefs provide food for swarms of fish, both large and small. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found on our Coral Reefs overview page .
It is a well-known fact that for animals living in the deep sea, food can be scarce. The food that is around usually rains down from above as dead animals and organic particles from plankton living...
Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean's water column around the world. They are both beautiful—the jellyfish with their pulsating bells and long, trailing...
by Hannah Waters In August 1994, Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in a submersible for the first time. A newly-minted Ph.D., she had recently completed her graduate studies on marine microbes living...
Follow a journey with satellite tags placed on bull sharks and tarpon. Both of these large predatory fish are found in coastal in-shore ecosystems and the two species have similar diets. If given the...
Two years ago last week, on April 20, 2010, an explosion on the oil-drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused the largest marine oil spill in history , gushing nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil over...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
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...
How do you explain a scientific paper in three minutes or less? What if you were being judged by a bunch of middle-schoolers in classrooms around the world… and you only had a month to do it? The...
In this episode of the Podcast of Life , students from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Massachusetts and La Salle Academy in Rhode Island question shark researcher Greg Skomal about a...
Convict surgeonfish ( Acanthurus triostegus ) are the roaming sheep of the reef but, instead of noshing on grass, they feed on algae. Their grazing helps to balance the growth of algae and coral on...
Seagrasses are found in shallow salty and brackish waters in many parts of the world, from the tropics to the Arctic Circle. Seagrasses are so-named because most species have long green, grass-like...
Mangrove is the name for a tree—and also for a complex ecosystem—that bridges land and sea. There are around 70 species of mangrove trees (meaning trees that can grow in salty water and soils), but...
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