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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

“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright reflection and came eye-to-eye with this beautiful, curious squid," said Charles Viggers, a Nature's Best photographer. Squids...
The robust oval, spine covered body of a long-spined porcupine fish ( Diodon holocanthus ) is revealed in this X-ray image. To ward off predators, a porcupinefish inflates its body by pumping water...
For nearly 30 years, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has been swimming with and photographing sharks, including great whites, tigers, bulls, blacktips, and great hammerheads all...
“The largest land migration of any animal on Earth, as many as 120 million crabs carpet the island in red as they move from the rain forest to the coast.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Stephen...
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...
Callum Roberts is a professor of marine conservation at the University of York in England and an author. His first book, The Unnatural History of the Sea , was published in 2007 and his second, The...
The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef brings together mathematics, marine science, craft, and community activism in an effort to raise awareness about the threat to coral reefs worldwide. This discussion...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
Corals are just one of the many marine life forms that can be modeled in crochet. Jellyfish, like the one pictured here, starfish, sea snails, and kelp are some of the other organisms that...
“I arrived at this beach about a half an hour before sunset. I shot a good number of beach and sunset pictures on this trip and on previous trips, so I was looking for something different. I noticed...
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...
An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are encased in thin, transparent bony plates attached to their spines, which you can see in the X-ray. Also known as shrimpfish...
Underwater photographer, Brian Skerry, prepares for an icy dive off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan. With all the specialized gear and the large amount of travel necessary to take photos underwater,...
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.
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...
The receding tide left a multitude of starfish in tide pools clinging to exposed rocks along the shore. The rich hues matched the colors of the setting sun against the textures of the rocky beach...
“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious penguins waddled across an iceberg to get a closer look at us.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Phillip Colla . See more...
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...
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