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Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the mangrove, already exuding the confidence inherent of the supreme creature within its domain. It was hot here in Bimini...
This guineafowl moray ( Gymnothorax meleagris ) is one of about 200 species of moray eels found in tropical and subtropical coral reefs . Moray eels are a type of bony fish. Many species, like this...
A rainbow of tropical fish hovers over a coral head near the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, part of the Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site .
Mangrove is the name for a tree—and also for a complex ecosystem—that bridges land and sea. There are around 70 species of mangrove trees (meaning trees that can grow in salty water and soils), but...
Scientists journey to the isolated island of Moorea on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers—from mountaintop to seafloor. Get up close and personal with researchers...
Two large coral trout ( Plectropomus leopardus ) swim through a coral reef on Taveuni Island in Fiji. Coral trout are highly desired fish for human consumption, and because of overfishing, are...
Around 100 million years ago, grass from land adapted to live and reproduce while submerged in seawater—the modern-day seagrasses. This sea invasion by land plants happened four separate times,...
Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square miles) of tropical ecosystems – from jungle and wetlands to beaches and coral...
We began this journey three months ago, a team of scientists and filmmakers traveling the East African coastline by boat to document and research the status of coral reefs from South Africa to Kenya...
A scuba diver explores elkhorn corals ( Acropora palmata ) growing on a tropical reef. Coral reefs provide recreation and inspiration for millions of people every year. Elkhorn coral is listed as...
Tropical coral reefs—found in warm, clear, shallow waters—support a rich diversity of marine life, such as these sea bass in the Red Sea. Learn more in the Ocean Portal's Coral Reefs section .
Smithsonian research assistant Anne Chamberlain and Marc Frischer from Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia, stride through thick mud covered by algal mats in a mangrove pond at...
Tectitethya crypta (formerly known as Cryptotheca crypta ) is a large, shallow-water sponge found in the Caribbean. It was first studied for medical purposes in the 1950s when few scientists or...
The feathery strands at the back of this nudibranch’s ( Chromodoris willani ) body are no mere adornment: they’re its gills! Nudibranchs, shell-less snails or sea slugs, are named for these tufted...
The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty. They are curious fish that will come and greet their human visitors. However this unique coloring is not shared with all...
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...
The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy...
What is this bizarre, spiky-looking organism? Hint: it can be found in tropical areas of the Pacific and Indian ocean basins crawling slowly over coral reefs and devouring any living coral polyps...
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