Invasive Species

Most plants and animals have specific areas that they are most suited to—their native location. But through human interaction and a changing climate, these native species can sometimes be moved to a new region where they are referred to as invasive.

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Hopefully you've never bitten into a delicious hunk of snow crab meat and instantly spit it out because instead of crab you tasted... aspirin?! If you have, it might have been crab meat infected...
These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These...
When people sail the sea, marine organisms tag along. If carried long distances...
During the summer of 1998, scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine...

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The spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the Atlantic coast. The native...
A strain of this green seaweed, native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans,...
The majestic and highly predatory red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) , native...

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Regardless of what continent you live on, the waters that surround it are home to marine invaders. The ocean is teeming with...
Lionfish, or Pterois , are a deadly type of fish that live around reefs, although they are native to the Indo-Pacific region. These fish have been known to be invasive, and with no natural predators...
When people sail the sea, marine organisms tag along. If carried long distances, these hitchhikers can invade and disrupt ecosystems far from their natural homes, pushing out the local species. Some...
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...
Alaska’s pristine coastline is ripe for an influx of invasive marine species such as the European green crab and the rough periwinkle (an Atlantic sea snail), warns a new study by a team of...
This week at the Smithsonian Ocean Portal we embark on an experiment we're calling "Make Me Care." The concept is simple: we ask a renowned expert to tell us why we should care about his or her...
This bivalve mollusk is native to the Caspian Sea, lagoons of the Black Sea, and their inflowing rivers. It lives in fresh and brackish water and cannot tolerate full seawater. In the 18th and 19th...
Biofilm (microbial life that clings to underwater painted surfaces and is generally found covering the bottom of ships) is collected from the hull of a cargo ship with a funnel and syringe.
“Sea grapes” may sound like something Poseidon would snack on, and not a killer algae. Yet Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea poses a serious threat to marine life. Spread by the bilge water of boats...
When people sail the sea, marine organisms tag along. If carried long distances, these hitchhikers can invade and disrupt ecosystems far from their natural homes, pushing out the local species. Some...
I am once again leaving my familiar world behind and descending into the abyss below. The first dive of an entirely new expedition is the most magical. I am a member of a scientific research dive...
The spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the...
This photograph, much like Van Gogh’s Starry Night is awhirl with the colors and swishes of hundreds of fish. The focal point, however, is the lionfish. Lionfish ( Pterois antennata ) have been known...
Regardless of what continent you live on, the waters that surround it are home to marine invaders. The ocean is teeming with plants and animals willing and able to move beyond their native habitats...
This ctenophore (a stingless jellyfish-like animal) is native to the east coast of North and South America. In 1982, it was discovered in the Black Sea, where it was transported by ballast water . It...
Seagrasses are found in shallow salty and brackish waters in many parts of the world, from the tropics to the Arctic Circle. Seagrasses are so-named because most species have long green, grass-like...
Invasive species can have a range of environmental and economic impacts. In this photo sea squirts foul an oyster cage. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's Marine Invasions...
Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean's water column around the world. They are both beautiful—the jellyfish with their pulsating bells and long, trailing...
When people sail the sea, marine organisms tag along. If carried long distances, these hitchhikers can invade and disrupt ecosystems far from their natural homes, pushing out the local species. Some...
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