Zooplankton

Phoenix swimming with her calf.

Baleen: From Whales to People

For being so big, right whales eat very small food, which they catch using baleen. Baleen is the series of fringed plates hanging in right whales' mouths that are used to strain seawater for...
A tiny larval (baby) starfish.

The Invisible Loss: The Impacts of Oil You Do Not See

A tiny larval (baby) starfish. Credit: Dr. Allison J. Gong, UC Santa Cruz Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP drilling rig spread throughout the Gulf of...
Arctic cod have a special protein that warms their blood.

Arctic Lesson Plans from NOAA

Explore the Arctic in the "Under Arctic Ice" photo essay, co-developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. This...
Census researchers discovered this sea cucumber (Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Zooplankton Biodiversity

Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their entire lives. The researchers who took part in the Census of Marine Zooplankton, a project of the Census of Marine Life ,...

A Ctenophore Feeds

The comb jelly (ctenophore) Thalassocalyce inconstans is found in shallow to deep water in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and sometimes in warmer Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of California -- although this...
A pair of sea butterflies float in the Arctic ocean.

Searching for the Ocean Acidification Signal

Over that past century, the pH of the ocean has decreased from 8.2 to 8.1. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it represents a faster rate than at any time in the last...
A shell placed in seawater with increased acidity slowly dissolves over 45 days.

Ocean Acidification

Ocean acidification is sometimes called “climate change’s equally evil twin,” and for good reason: it's a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don't see or feel because...

Five Questions with Russ Hopcroft, Zooplankton Whiz

Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of its researchers to hear about their favorite expeditions, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue...
Small red hyperiid.

The Hyper Eyes of Hyperiids: How Some Shrimp-Like Creatures See Light in the Deep Sea

Hyperiid amphipods are small crustaceans related to sand fleas and distantly related to shrimp. They range in size from very tiny to more than 7 inches long, and are found at all depths of...

How Methane Fueled a Food Web after the Gulf Oil Spill

The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible launches to study cold-water corals off Florida in 2009. Credit: ©2011arthowardphototography.com by Hannah Waters In August 1994, Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in a submersible for the first time...

Spirals in Time: A Walk at the Seashore

When I set out to write a book about mollusks (called Spirals in Time ), I wasn't quite prepared for just how many animals I would get to know. There are somewhere between 100,000...
A large red research vessel among icy waters and snowy mountains

Shipboard Life in the Antarctic

The R/V Laurence M. Gould amid icy waters in Antarctica Credit: Danielle Hall Strapped in to a harness on the back deck of a 230-foot research vessel off the coast of Antarctica , I...
A female and male Photerus annecohenae

You Light Up My World!

A female (top left) and male Photerus annecohenae. Note that females are larger than males (sexual dimorphism) and that males have bigger eyes. Credit: Jim G. Morin While people may give chocolates to the...
The shell of a sea slug

A Microscopic Identity Crisis

Using DNA to identify larval species in the Gulf Stream When swimming in the water, the planktonic sea snail, Diacria trispinosa , flutters two wings much like a butterfly. When they retract their bodies...
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Ángeles Alvariño: Woman of Many Namesakes

An arrow-worm from the genus Spadella . Alvariño discovered and classified the species Spadella gaetanoi in 1978. Credit: Zatelmar, Wikimedia Commons By Kalila Morsink Latin names of species may seem boring—a litany of extra-long...

The Secret Life of Plankton

Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters," says one fish in this video. The world of...