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The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
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...
A rainbow of tropical fish hovers over a coral head near the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, part of the Papahānaumokuākea World Heritage Site .
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...
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...
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...
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...
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”...
We have arrived as the advanced scouting party to the scene of this year's field work location: Pemuteran, a small fishing village in northwest Bali. More importantly, we are sitting squarely at the...
The island of Moorea is a natural laboratory for scientists on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. Head out into the field and watch as researchers use cutting-...
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...
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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