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The Ocean Blog

The ocean is so big that it can be easy to forget the microscopic beauty of the organisms that live within. Some of this beauty is documented by the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition ,...
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...
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...
In the X-ray image of this Viper Moray Eel ( Enchelynassa canina ), note the second set of jaws in the “throat”; these are the gill arches, which are present in all fish. Gill arches support the...
From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You can also see the winners from 2011 and 2010 .
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...
The elongated body, characteristic long and narrow snout, and small teeth make the slender snipe eel ( Nemichthys scolopaceus ) easily identifiable in this X-ray image. Snipe eels live at great...
“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...
“A tern colony resides here for the better part of the summer, raising their young and preparing for their migration south. In August, the birds often become very busy at dusk as they retrieve fish...
“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...
“This composition is a blend of nature and architecture. Shooting beneath the structure to get a unique perspective, I waited for days for a thick mist to lift and reveal the backlighting and color I...
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,...
These cute Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae ) are actually having a bit of a spat. In the spring (October for them), the penguins form breeding colonies on rocky coasts with thousands of birds in...
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 largest land migration of any animal on Earth, as many as 120 million crabs carpet the island in red as they move from the rain forest to the coast.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Stephen...
A gentoo penguin ( Pygoscelis papua ) mother stands with her chick in Antarctica. When walking on land, gentoo penguins waddle with their long tails dragging behind them; but in the water, they are...
I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful...
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...
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