Census of Marine Life

The Census of Marine Life was a 10-year international effort that assessed the diversity (how many different kinds), distribution (where they live), and abundance (how many individuals) of marine life.

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Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called nematocysts. Of course, this...
Sea stars ( Odontaster validus ) and sea urchins ( Sterechinus neumayeri )...
From the open ocean to coastal tidepools, from the fantastic to the familiar, a...
Male northern elephant seals face off on the beach by vocalizing through their...

LATEST CATCH

Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called nematocysts. Of course, this...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea...

DIVE DEEPER

Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old...
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have evolved to inhabit warm waters near the equator and the icy waters of the Earth’s poles. Marine life takes advantage of the...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside...
This close-up view of salps, which have aggregated together into a long chain, have brilliant red guts from eating red plankton. They were observed by researchers with the Census of Marine...
As 10 years of intensive research draw to a close, the Census of Marine Life has released the most comprehensive inventory of life in the ocean to date. This landmark collection of scientific papers...
This beautiful open ocean microbe is a type of large amoeba called an acantharian. Microbes account for over 90 percent of the biomass in the ocean -- they are teeming with microscopic bacteria,...
In the Coral Triangle, a biodiverse area between Indonesia and the Philippines, scientists discovered this swimming polychaete (bristly worm), which they have dubbed the "squidworm." Using a remotely...
This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered...
Omoo, a Great White Shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ), carries a satellite tag that sends information daily about her movements across the Pacific. Follow her migration real-time . More about the...
The comb jelly (ctenophore) Thalassocalyce inconstans is found in shallow to deep water in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and sometimes in warmer Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of...
The Census of Marine Life was a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” The international effort to asses the diversity,...
A fringe of short tentacles surrounds the flattened bell of this tiny, transparent jellyfish ( Halicreas minimum ), which can be found at depths up to 984 feet (300 meters). But it would be hard to...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of its researchers to hear about their favorite expeditions, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
The Census of Marine Life - a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” It was an international effort to asses the diversity,...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea cucumber ( Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,750 meters depth. It creeps forward on its tentacles pretty slowly, at...
This beautiful spider conch ( Lambis chiragra ) was collected by Census of Marine Life scientists conducting research near China.
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