Census of Marine Life

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From the open ocean to coastal tidepools, from the fantastic to the familiar, a mosaic of marine habitats provides homes, feeding and spawning grounds, and seasonal destinations for ocean species. Census of Marine Life...
Male northern elephant seals face off on the beach by vocalizing through their...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a...
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The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have...

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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 during the Census of Marine...
This new species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was...
In the Coral Triangle, a biodiverse area between Indonesia and the...

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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...
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...
From the open ocean to coastal tidepools, from the fantastic to the familiar, a mosaic of marine habitats provides homes, feeding and spawning grounds, and seasonal destinations for ocean species...
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...
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...
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,...
Sea butterflies (also called pteropods) are sea snails aptly named: they are shelled marine snails, each with a foot like a wing, that swim in the water column like butterflies. This one, Atlanta...
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 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...
Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old restaurant menu can teach us about the history of fish populations? Or that...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light rarely reaches those depths, and most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to see red. The long, complex tentacles of this...
This new species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was discovered by Census of Marine Life researchers in the frigid waters of the Arctic . Since the 1800s, researchers observed sea...
Sea stars ( Odontaster validus ) and sea urchins ( Sterechinus neumayeri ) spread over an algae-covered seafloor off the coast of Antarctica. These two species are often found living in association...
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...
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 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,...
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...
In a decade long project, which ended in October 2010, scientists with the Census of Marine Life traveled the world cataloging the ocean’s life forms. From Australia to China to the Gulf of Mexico...
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