Census of Marine Life

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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...
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The Census of Marine Life was a ten-year effort by scientists from around the...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid,...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the...

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Like this ctenophore ( Aulococtena acuminata ), many animals that live in the midwater zone are red—making them almost invisible in the dim blue light that filters down from the sea surface. This small comb jelly snares prey with...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually...
This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more...

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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 Blog

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth and is essential to all life. But forces of change, from overfishing to climate change, are affecting the ocean and humanity's relationship with it...
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,...
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...
Scientists believe orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) live longer than 150 years! Here, Census of Marine Life researchers used an underwater camera to photograph this group of orange roughy...
This copepod ( Gaussia princeps ) was collected deeper than 1000 meters in the Sargasso Sea by Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ) researchers in April 2006, as part of the 10-year Census of Marine...
Can you spot the amphipod ( Phronima atlantica ) in the below photo? She's the transparent lobster-looking animal in the middle, surrounded by her own eggs -- inside a sac that once was the "barrel"...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a large group of smaller siphonophores clustered and living together. In fact, the zooids (individual siphonophores living...
Many expeditions in the Arctic reveal new species, such as this jellyfi sh Bathykorus bouilloni , which, strangely, has only four tentacles! Dr. Kevin Raskoff from California State University,...
Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their entire lives. The researchers who took part in the Census of Marine Zooplankton, a project of the Census of Marine Life ,...
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 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...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
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...
This beautiful spider conch ( Lambis chiragra ) was collected by Census of Marine Life scientists conducting research near China.
Expedition data went to the Arctic Ocean Diversity database of the Census of Marine Life to establish a baseline that will help to document change in the poorly known Arctic Ocean. Scientist Kevin...
Male northern elephant seals face off on the beach by vocalizing through their extended noses, called proboscises. Every winter, when the seals return to the beach where they were born to breed,...
This bright purple sea star is a new species found by the Census of Coral Reef Ecosystems , a project of the Census of Marine Life. This particular specimen was seen on the reefs of the French...
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