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Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom and gloom from the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. That is the time of year we typically study...
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Sample the surprising diversity of deep-sea corals. See some of the ways they...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific...
Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to...

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Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill fish, is a practice used in many villages and isolated regions of the world. Hundreds of fish can be seen strewn across the reef, left as bycatch, such as...
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through...
Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern...

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Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems. They teem with life, with perhaps one quarter of all ocean...

The Ocean Blog

It's a pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ), found in Indonesia's biodiverse Coral Triangle and one of the smallest seahorse species in the world! They can change colors like a chameleon to...
Deep-sea coral beds are true biodiversity hotspots. It’s urgent that we study these extreme environments because we know so little about them, because they are important communities for so many deep-...
Ocean scientists recently discovered this new species of black coral off the coast of southern California. It was named the “Christmas tree” coral, Antipathes dendrochristos , in 2005 because of its...
The long silver tool shown here is a piece of traditional Australian fishing gear called a “yabbie pump.” Researchers use the device to collect burrowing shrimp and other fast-moving animals from the...
The pink strands of this single deep-sea coral harbor a variety of marine life. Sea whips are gorgonian corals and have flexible skeletons. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
A sea lion in the Sea of Cortez observes Dr. Peter Auster as he observes reef fishes. Learn more about deep-sea coral reefs in our Deep-sea Corals article.
In November 2012, Australia began protecting a huge swath of its ocean from overfishing and oil exploration, creating the largest network of marine reserves in the world at a grand total of 1.2...
Part 6 of a 6-part series describing WHOI's efforts to understand the scope and impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. "Assessing the Impacts" describes a range of work by...
A scuba diver explores elkhorn corals ( Acropora palmata ) growing on a tropical reef. Coral reefs provide recreation and inspiration for millions of people every year. Elkhorn coral is listed as...
How biodiverse is one coral reef compared to another? To find out, in Spring 2012, Smithsonian scientist Chris Meyer his students in the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) course counted...
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
Grey reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) are among the most versatile and tough predators on a Pacific coral reef, but they are also among the most vulnerable species, as they are threatened...
When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos—that crisscross the African Savannah. Few would imagine that there could be more natural beauty on...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious places Caribbean reefs once were. In our youth we studied them for all sorts of reasons but scarcely thought about reef...
This map shows where some of the most significant species of deep-sea corals are located. Learn more about the distribution and ecology of deep ocean corals in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep...
A master of disguise, the pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ) grows to only 2cm in length and matches the gorgonian coral that it lives on. The pygmy seahorse is so successful at hiding that it...
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...
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