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These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a former Smithsonian coral biologist, in 1947. Trapezia crabs live on and within corals, feeding on their tissue and mucus, and protect them...
Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...

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The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its wide, T-shaped head, giving it...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright...
The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga...

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From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You...

The Ocean Blog

The long toothy rostrum or “saw” gives sawfish their common name. They use the saw to dig in the sand for crustaceans or to attack prey by vigorously slashing from side to side. This smalltooth...
What is climate change, and how is it affecting coastal Carolina? That is the question that a group teens from Isaac Bear Early College High School set out to answer for their Third National Student...
The cover of Dr. Nancy Knowlton's new book, Citizens of the Sea , published in partnership with the National Geographic Society and the Census of Marine Life . With dazzling photographs and reader-...
A dance production combines ocean science and art to empower viewers to take conservation action. Ocean was performed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on June 3, 2012 as part of...
This short video takes you two hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and some 6,600 feet below the water's surface to observe the Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis bathynectes ). Little is known about...
After collecting, cleaning and sorting the plastic, the community came back together to construct the whale ribcage.
“Tomales Bay is a narrow, protected waterway along the San Andreas fault. In years past, it was known for its thriving fishing industry. This boat is a relic from better times for local fishermen,...
From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You can also see the winners from 2011 and 2010 .
Trying to get a good angle for a photo while underwater can be tough when you are working among currents and other distractions, like animal visitors. In this photo, Brian Skerry sits atop a 20 foot...
“Let’s talk about the Earth, really talk about survival. We can talk about the Poles where the cold is unrivaled.” Rappers wrap their heads around climate change in this music video. More about...
Enric Sala has spent much of his career looking for the ocean's "time machines" -- areas rich in biodiversity and largely unaffected by humans. In this recorded webcast , Sala, a National Geographic...
These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a former Smithsonian coral biologist, in 1947. Trapezia crabs live on and within corals, feeding on their tissue and mucus,...
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
Gray reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) are known for being active at night. They are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List due to fishing and the loss of their coral reef habitat...
“Every four years, sockeyes come inland from the Pacific to spawn. The year 2010 was the largest run in 100 years, reaching more than 30 million fish. On this day, I waited for the right sunlight,...
Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this...
Two California market squids ( Loligo opalescens ) mate in the waters off of California's Channel Islands. While spawning, the male's arms blush red as he embraces the female, a warning to other...
A still from Stories From the Gulf: Living with the BP Oil Disaster , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
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