Census of Marine Life

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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...
This bright purple sea star is a new species found by the Census of Coral Reef...
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Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their...
Can you spot the amphipod ( Phronima atlantica ) in the below photo? She's the...

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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, it it found throughout the...
In the Coral Triangle, a biodiverse area between Indonesia and the...
This rarely-seen smalleyed rabbitfish ( Hydrolagus affinis ), belonging to...

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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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 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...
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 beautiful spider conch ( Lambis chiragra ) was collected by Census of Marine Life scientists conducting research near China.
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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,...
This rarely-seen smalleyed rabbitfish ( Hydrolagus affinis ), belonging to the order of Chimaera, was caught during a research trip to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2004 sponsored by the Census of Marine...
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...
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...
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