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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,...
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”...
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...
A rainbow of tropical fish hovers over a coral head near the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, part of the Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site .
Shallow water coral reefs straddle the equator worldwide. The shallow coral reefs found in U.S. territorial waters are highlighted in purple in this map. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found...
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...
This slug caterpillar ( Acharia horrida ), which will eventually metamorphosize into a very plain brown moth, has stinging spines that are very nasty to rub up against. Although the slug caterpillar...
Dr. Candy Feller is framed by the roots of a mangrove tree on Panama’s Pacific coast. Mangrove trees grow particularly large in this area. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
One of the first signs of a sick coral reef is seaweed creeping across the corals, stealing their precious sunny real estate. Healthy corals, however, aren't completely hopeless: in some reefs, small...
Monk seals -- the only completely tropical species of seal in the world -- are in trouble. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused the remaining populations of...
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...
Stare at a tide pool and you will often see a crust of pink coating the bottom. No, this is not bubblegum from some careless teenager’s shoe: it’s a stony kind of seaweed that, like other seaweeds,...
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...
Watch a recorded webcast about the latest efforts in Greece to study and save the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused...
The blue-spotted stingray ( Taeniura lymma ) doesn’t like to be covered in sand like other species of stingray do. Instead, it prefers to show off its beautiful blue spots and, to stay up to the best...
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