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The Ocean Blog

Hedbergella sliteri - this specific specimen is the "holotype" for this species. That means it is the reference point for what all members of the species should look like. This specimen was...
Sea stars are important members of marine ecosystems, especially in the tropics. We may think of tropical coral reefs as being home mainly to fish and corals, but in fact these habitats are home to a...
Smithsonian surveys along the lower north shore of Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada have revealed evidence of a long history of Native American occupation, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indian...
The acidic waters from CO 2 seeps can dissolve shells and also make it harder for shells to grow in the first place. Read more about how reef scientist Laetitia Plaisance uses carbon dioxide seeps to...
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill , ocean acidification, and the decline of fish stocks are just three of the topics that renowned ocean scientist, Dr. Jeremy Jackson discusses in this talk, recorded...
Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in Atacama Region, Chile, in 2011. The fossils were discovered when the...
Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes living belugas and narwhals, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, the fossil record shows that these animals had a much larger range than the...
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on invertebrates like jellyfish, clams, crabs, sea stars, and plankton? The scope of the damage is more easily observed among birds...
Paleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, has packed his bags for an expedition to Panama to excavate a fossil...
Dr. Feller at White Pond on the island of Twin Cays, Belize. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of collaborators are heading into Chile's Atacama Desert , shown here. They'll study a rich bonebed of fossil marine vertebrates...
The sun sets over the Smithsonian’s Marine Field Station at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize.
On August 23, 2011 a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the East Coast of the United States. The earthquake map shown here, generated by the U.S. Geological Survey and regional seismic network operators...
400 to 1,000 year old bones from an endangered seabird, the Hawaiian petrel. Bones such as these provide a window into the lives of seabirds before and after human arrival in the open ocean...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
When they get larger, Portunus sayi are formidable predators, quick to consume any smaller animal that comes within reach. Fish, other crustaceans, and even smaller members of their own species are...
Deploying ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) is tricky in the deep sea, where SCUBA divers can't place and secure them to the floor with their hands and a hammer. Researchers with DROP (...
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