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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

From a distance, Henry the Fish looks like a typical quirky and colorful sculpture you'd find in a small beach town. But when you look up close, Henry begins to change. His bright yellow and red...
A Grey Seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) poses in the waters off Acadia National Park in Maine. Grey seals live on both coasts of the Northern Atlantic, with breeding colonies in Great Britain, Ireland,...
Named for the radiant blue color on its back and sides, the blue shark ( Prionace glauca ) traverses the world’s temperate and tropical seas. Known for traveling great distances and being a swift...
Can painted wooden fish on a schoolyard fence change human behavior and help clean up the ocean for the real salmon? Stream of Dreams in British Columbia thinks so, and a lot of wooden fish and some...
This is the cover of the book William Dampier -- pirate and naturalist -- wrote about his first trip around the world, one of four that he eventually made and described in a series of bestselling...
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,...
A wrought iron butterflyfish , Chaetodon daedalma , being cleaned by a small wrasse in the waters of Japan's Ogasawara Islands.
“Once in a while, manta rays appear in great numbers in a small bay in the Baa Atoll. The concentration of plankton must be very high in this particular bay, because up to 200 manta rays have been...
Follow an artist from inspiration to installation in this short video. It features the work in the exhibit, " The Bright Beneath: The Luminous Art of Shih Chieh Huang ," at the Smithsonian's National...
A cameraman navigates a smack of sea nettles ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) in Monterey Bay. A group of jellies is known as a "smack."
Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of The Podcast of Life by science contributor Josh Kurz, who tells the story of dinoflagellates through "music from the bottom of the food chain." There...
Kids wax poetic in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. To celebrate National Poetry Month, visitors on April 9, 2011 were invited to pen a haiku to the ocean blue. Seven-...
Massachusetts ceramics artist Joan Lederman glazes her work —including this bowl—with deep sea sediments. Some contain tiny single-celled organisms called foraminifera. Lederman has noticed that...
A still from The Last Boat Out , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon , a resident of Maryland. The artist showcased his craft for visitors at the Smithsonian's National...
“This image was captured during an evening dive in water where the largest migration on Earth occurs nightly," said Nature's Best Photographer Joshua Lambus. The migration he speaks of is the diel...
Editor's Note: These images and more can be seen at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., as a part of the larger exhibit " Portraits of Planet Ocean: The Photography...
Three dancers demonstrate the food web in the production Ocean , which blends dance with scientist interviews, facts, and ocean photography. The choreographer, Fran Spector Atkins, hopes dance will...
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