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The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far outnumber the...
Picture this: clear, warm water bathing spectacular coral reefs , clouds of...
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science...
The Mars rover Curiosity is sending images back home : glimpses of another...

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In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes viewers with her as she searches for crustaceans in the deep sea . She's particularly interested in finding squat lobsters , which despite their name, are...
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a...
Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in...

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Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington...

The Ocean Blog

If you are a bird watcher you have probably heard of the Christmas Bird Count. The first one occurred on Christmas Day in 1900 at a variety of locations throughout North America, and it has since...
I have been at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History since 1966, studying and reporting on all kinds of octopuses and squids . But I’ve always had a particular fascination with the...
Marine biologists discover a whalefish -- an incredibly rare deep-sea fish -- swimming in the ocean in this video. Because it is so dark where they live, females have well-developed sensory pores,...
Scientist Martha Nizinski holds a squat lobster ( Eumunida picta ) collected at the Lophelia reefs off Cape Lookout, North Carolina. Squat lobsters are extremely abundant there and are usually found...
The Johnson-Sea-Link submersible reaches the ocean’s surface with a specimen of Keratoisis bamboo coral inside its collection box. Find out how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our Deep-sea...
Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The...
"Inside the Open Ocean: Blue Water Diving" produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) , describes a specialized diving technique that lets biologists study the ocean's most fragile...
Nine years ago I was invited by a colleague to join a research team investigating deep-sea coral habitats . I was asked to examine the invertebrates associated with these ecosystems. After my first...
Using a drill, a team removes a chunk from the thick Arctic ice. Small samples are taken from where the ice meets liquid seawater. The ice is then melted for analysis.
Arctic Ice diver Shawn Harper “stands” on the ice ceiling above him.
You may not think of the ocean as a pharmacy but scientists are developing exciting new medicines from the sponges, corals, and other marine organisms found in the sea. Explore other videos that...
Deep below the ocean’s surface is a mysterious world that takes up 95% of Earth’s living space. It could hide 20 Washington Monuments stacked on top of each other . But the deep sea remains largely...
Remotely located in the central Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii, the Line Islands provide a remarkable research opportunity. The archipelago includes coral reefs reflecting the whole spectrum of...
Are these three fish related? All three—a whalefish, bignose, and tapetail—became the prime suspects in an international scientific mystery. Each species seemed to be missing either a member of the...
Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico…it is all a single, enormous, interconnected ocean that covers much of our planet. But that doesn't mean that it has the same...
In the spring of 2011, Oceana launched a research expedition in the Baltic Sea. The two-month journey took place aboard the Hanse Explorer, a 48-meter ice class vessel built for long exploration...
Nick Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, holds an arm bone from a "toothed" mysticete from Vancouver Island. This is the second specimen...
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos...
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