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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have a wingspan of more than 6 feet, soaring vast distances without flapping their wings. They can go years without even...
Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish. This image gallery showcases...
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The long toothy rostrum or “saw” gives sawfish their common name. They use the saw to dig in the sand for crustaceans or to attack prey by vigorously slashing from side to side. This smalltooth...
Tropical hatchetfish ( Argyropelecus lychnus ), like the one shown in this X-ray photograph, live in the dark depths of the ocean ; this specimen was collected at about 2,789 feet (850 meters) in the...
A few years ago, I was in New Zealand photographing a story about the value of marine reserves (a type of marine protected area ). My last location was a place called the Poor Knights Islands , a...
“I slowly approached this bird resting on the back of a turtle just under the surface of the water. I got the shot just before the tern flew away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Nuno Sá. See more...
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 distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its...
“In late November, land-locked polar bears gather along the Hudson Bay to await the formation of Arctic ice so they can return to their seal-hunting grounds for the winter.” -- Nature's Best...
Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal...
“At night, spotted dolphins move offshore into the Gulf Stream’s deep waters in search of squid.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Andrew Sallmon. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of...
An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are encased in thin, transparent bony plates attached to their spines, which you can see in the X-ray. Also known as shrimpfish...
The robust oval, spine covered body of a long-spined porcupine fish ( Diodon holocanthus ) is revealed in this X-ray image. To ward off predators, a porcupinefish inflates its body by pumping water...
The veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ), also known as the coconut octopus, has a skill beyond other cephalopods: it hides under animal and coconut shells, dragging them along the seafloor for...
How does a coral spend its day? Most of us would say: not doing much. To the human eye, a coral looks relatively still, waiting in the current and hoping some food will run into its tentacles. But...
A Grey Seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) poses in the waters off Acadia National Park in Maine. Grey seals live on both coasts of the Northern Atlantic, with breeding colonies in Great Britain, Ireland,...
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