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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...
“Sea grapes” may sound like something Poseidon would snack on, and not a killer...
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Hopefully you've never bitten into a delicious hunk of snow crab meat and...
These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These...

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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 centuries, zebra mussels spread...
Rapa whelks , native to Asia, have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and are...
This ctenophore (a stingless jellyfish-like animal) is native to the east...

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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...
These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These animals, usually found in the Pacific Ocean, were first spotted in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2000. And...
Large organisms, like these tunicates, live inside the recesses of a ship's hull while microscopic organisms form a film across all the painted surfaces on the boat.
During the summer of 1998, scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science made a series of disturbing discoveries in the Chesapeake Bay. In June, they collected an unusual specimen: a single...
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...
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.
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...
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,...
Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of...
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...
Pick up any news article about invasive species and you may confuse it with a police blotter. Generally, invasive species are "almost bulletproof" "marauders," "terrorizing" ecosystems and wildlife...
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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