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The majestic and highly predatory red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) , native to the Indo-Pacific, is invading Atlantic waters. The lionfish is a popular home aquarium species, and some were most likely dumped...
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Reef biologists over a certain age are haunted by memories of what glorious...
by Laura Brodbeck A special type of marine protected area (MPA) called a “no-...
Each month, the Naked Oceans podcast invites a leading marine researcher to...

LATEST CATCH

Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and habitat for animals that live on...
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through...
There aren't any mummies or zombies buried under the seafloor: instead the...

DIVE DEEPER

It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is...
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through their bodies. They are very common on Caribbean coral reefs, and come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is great...
On a healthy coral reef, fish (as well as many other organisms) thrive. Not only are reefs beautiful, but they are also critical to ocean health and human livelihoods.
Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square miles) of tropical ecosystems – from jungle and wetlands to beaches and coral...
Tectitethya crypta (formerly known as Cryptotheca crypta ) is a large, shallow-water sponge found in the Caribbean. It was first studied for medical purposes in the 1950s when few scientists or...
Unlike the shallow tropical coral reef pictured on the top, the deep-sea Oculina reef at bottom does not require sunlight. Learn more in the article " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."
Dr. Stephen Cairns is a research zoologist and chair of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the diversity,...
When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in West Maui, I keep an eye out for certain kinds of fish. Not the brightest or the biggest, but those herbivores such as...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
See a few of the many species of deep-sea corals that have been discovered by scientists just since 2004. Learn about more deep-sea discoveries in our Deep-sea Corals article.
For those of you who have had the opportunity to visit a coral reef , you know that it’s an experience you are unlikely to forget. Coral reefs are among the world’s most magnificent ecosystems. Their...
Check out the eyes on these Hawaiian squirrelfish ( Sargocentron xantherythrum )! Because squirrelfish are almost entirely nocturnal, they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as...
Staghorn (seen here) and elkhorn corals are listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Specis Act, as their numbers have fallen catastrophically due to disease. Listed in 2006, they were the only...
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...
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.
Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals...
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...
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...
If you look closely, you can read a message in the corals. We are not being metaphorical. Barry and Aimee Brown set out to search for hidden letters among brain coral colonies two years ago near the...
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