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The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far outnumber the...
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would...
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Claws, spines, spikes, tentacles, and fangs. Aliens, monsters, and ghostly...
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In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the...

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The Pacific hagfish ( Eptatretus stoutii ), a fish that looks similar to an eel, has no jaw and is totally blind. They find food, often dead fish, through a specialized sense of smell and, because they can absorb nutrients...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef...
The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing...

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Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the...
"I was photographing this beautiful school of jacks when a diver slowly approached from beneath. I shifted my position to capture the moment he entered the ball of fish. Seconds later, he was...
Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "My research team was using...
The ghoulish “blob sculpin” ( Psychrolutes phrictus ) , a deepwater fish found off the Pacific coast of the U.S. from the Bering Sea to Southern California, can grow to about 70 cm (more than two...
Portrait of a yellow-green blennie ( family Clinidae ) hiding in the groove of a green brain coral.
The Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) has an evolutionary history that dates back some 200 million years . Because of this and the fact that it has retained some primitive features,...
Healthy coral reefs support a mindboggling array of life. Here, at Rapture Reef in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, colorful fishes throng the waters for as far as the eye can see.
Hardy head silversides ( Atherinomorus lacunosus ) are abundant fish in shallow water seagrass meadows throughout the Indo-Pacific that often form shoals. They feed primarily on zooplankton and small...
If there had been room to stand up, there would have been a standing ovation. As it was, the five of us on the submersible Curasub clapped and cheered when the first three deep-reef ARMS (Autonomous...
The robust oval, spine covered body of a long-spined porcupine fish ( Diodon holocanthus ) is revealed in this X-ray image. To ward off predators, a porcupinefish inflates its body by pumping water...
Relatively slow moving, juvenile plane-head filefish Monacanthus hispidus (Monacanthidae) travel along with the algae. They pick off and eat small animals as they move around in the rotating...
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...
A few years ago, I was in New Zealand photographing a story about the value of marine reserves (a type of marine protected area ). My last location was a place called the Poor Knights Islands , a...
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters," says one fish in this video. The world of drifters is the world of zooplankton...
This lanternfish ( Diaphus sp .), found in the Red Sea, has light-producing photophores along its ventral surface (belly), and a nasal light organ that acts like a headlight. Hear scientists tell...
You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s...
For nearly 35 years, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has been immersing himself in the big blue to get the perfect underwater photograph. He admits that there will never will be a "...
A beautiful cut of Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar ), a popular species among seafood lovers that is in severe decline. Check out our guest blog pos t by Oceana's Emily Fisher on the explosion of...
Some fish you can fry up in the pan, no questions asked. Others require a bit of research. Case in point: the puffer fish. Commonly known as fugu, some species contain toxins more deadly than cyanide...
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