More Smithsonian scientists

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...
Researchers in Moorea use a variety of tools to collect organisms. Some are simple, everyday items like buckets and brushes, and some are…a little stranger. Here, two researchers use a “yabbie pump”...
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...
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...
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...
Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and...
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 sargassum is coated with encrusting organisms, such as bryozoans and hydroids, that use it as a perch to filter feed in the oceanic waters, as well as crustaceans such as thos swimming crab...
Seagrasses growing on the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay rely on light to grow—but, thanks to pollution, that sunlight has become more scarce. Nutrient runoff from fertilizers causes microscopic...
This purple urchin Paleopneustes cristatus is seldom seen by itself, and can be found in groups of hundreds. Dr. Dave Pawson , a senior scientist at NMNH who studies deep-sea echinoderms, is testing...
If you want to study invasive species in the ocean, the Panama Canal offers a lot to explore. The ships passing through can inadvertently transport plants, animals, and even parasites from the...
A male mudflat fiddler crab ( Uca rapax ) waves its huge claw to impress females and threaten competitors. Only the males have the large claw. When the tide is high, fiddler crabs retreat to their...
With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on earth, seeking one out should be an easy proposition. But I quickly learned that it can be quite daunting when you’re looking...
One of the ocean's tiniest organisms often does the most harm. Microscopic algae can grow rapidly to form harmful algal blooms (sometimes called "red tides"), which create unhealthy water conditions...
Find out more about the field of ichthyology and the vast collection of fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History --the largest in the world! Find out how these collections were...
In 1895, two Smithsonian scientists described a new kind of deep sea creature, which they named the “whalefish.” Little did they know, this fish would become one of the prime suspects in an...
Boring sponges get a bad rap. Their own name betrays them, announcing to the world that they are unexciting, ordinary and quite frankly, boring. However, if ever a misnomer existed, this is it. More...
Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another...
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