Reproduction

The Great Hermit Crab Migration

A Caribbean hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus) crawls on the forest floor. Credit: Flickr user Island Conservation Over the last few days, a video of hermit crabs stampeding across the rocky shores of St. John...
A Pontoh pygmy seahorse

10 Things You Never Knew About Seahorses

By Lindsay Aylesworth, Project Seahorse The day I stepped into my wetsuit, donned my mask, and embarked on my first scuba dive was the day I decided to be a marine biologist. Little did...
Chrysaora melanaster is a jellyfish found in the Arctic.

Jellyfish and Comb Jellies

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 tentacles, and the comb jellies...
A polar bear and its cub in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

Celebrating Marine Moms

The ocean is home to many moms of all shapes and sizes: from charismatic polar bears and dolphins to small fishes and shrimps and more. Learn about some of the diverse parenting habits of...

Laysan Albatrosses’ Plastic Problem

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 touching land ,...
Two coral trout swim on a reef in Fiji.

Having Your Fish and Eating Them Too

Credit: Taveuni Palms Resort, Flickr by Laura Brodbeck A special type of marine protected area (MPA) called a “no-take zone” bans the removal of marine life from designated areas. At first glance, they seem...
Zombie worm eats whale bones in Japan's Sagami Bay

Zombie Worms Crave Bone

Credit: Yoshihiro Fujiwara/JAMSTEC Zombie worms don’t crave brains: instead they seek bones. The 1 to 3 inch (2 to 7 centimeter) Osedax worms were first discovered living in the bones of a rotting gray...

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,...

Claws Out: Fiddler Crabs Do Battle

Male fiddler crabs each have a single super-sized claw that they use as a weapon to threaten and fight other males and as beautiful adornment to attract females. Here, see a video of two...
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 puffin with a mouthful of fish.

Watching for Fish in the Puffin's Beak

Atlantic puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their mouths, help to hold ten or more small forage fish at once without losing any along the way. Credit: Steve Garvie, Flickr...
A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle emerges from the nest

Taking the Temperature of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! Credit: Terry Ross ( Flickr ) The...
Pink crustose algae covers the surface of a rock.

Microbes Help Corals Pick a Home and Settle Down

Like pink paint, crustose coralline algae covers the surface of the rock in a thin layer. This hard surface is a preferred home for the larvae of coral and other invertebrates (such as abalone)...

Beyond the Sea: How Oil Spills in the Ocean Affect Birds On Land

With their brown and yellow markings, seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus ) blend in well with marshgrass. Credit: Philip Stouffer, Louisiana State University In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's...
An albatross soars over the ocean.

Looking for Love? Online Dating Under the Sea

Love is in the air at the National Museum of Natural History! Our scientists are helping species look for love in this series of “dating profiles” to celebrate Valentine’s Day. For more dating options...
An albatross soars over the ocean.

Is It Love? Why Some Ocean Animals (Sort Of) Mate For Life

We often hear stories of animal love— tales of rare monogamy in the animal kingdom where life-long love is implied. But there is a distinction between romantic love and an efficient mating system. Here’s...

Penguins: Popularity, Peril and Poop

Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin...

Connecting Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the...