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Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows of red, green,...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they...
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The open ocean is surprisingly barren to the naked eye. Every now and again you...
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Everyone knows what a fish is: from a pet goldfish to a wild sunfish, fish are...

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These candy cane snapping shrimp ( Alpheus randalli ) have a pretty nice set up. They share their living space with goby fish, helping the fish dig and maintain the burrow that they share in the seafloor. In turn the small, and...
A master of disguise, the pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ) grows to...
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what...

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By Lindsay Aylesworth, Project Seahorse The day I stepped into my wetsuit, donned my mask, and embarked on my first scuba...
The pinecone fish ( Monocentris japonicus ) looks like the real thing on land—covered in large scales with a dark trim. They are found lurking in caves and under ledges in the Indian and Western...
Portrait of a yellow-green blennie ( family Clinidae ) hiding in the groove of a green brain coral.
Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world. It’s a great opportunity—even for those of us who do not fish for a living—to...
When you think of African animals, what do you think of? Probably the “Big Five:” lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos. But Africa also has an incredible amount of marine diversity in the...
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...
Everyone knows what a fish is: from a pet goldfish to a wild sunfish, fish are globally recognized and are an important global protein source. In this slideshow, we will look at some of the most...
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...
Deep-sea species like this dragonfish ( Bathophilus indicus ) live in cold, dark waters and may go weeks or months between meals. When food is found, the fish uses its impressive teeth—including some...
The waters of New Guinea teemed with exotic fishes and crabs, which were faithfully depicted by William Dampier’s artist. When Dampier’s book A Voyage to New Holland was published in 1703,...
This bluefin trevally is lucky to call Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument , its home. Maro is the largest reef in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and just...
So far, researchers have developed DNA barcodes to accurately identify 4,600 of the more than 29,000 known fish species. Atlantic cod is an economically important fisheries species. However, it's...
The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing tip that may attract prey. With its large mouth and sharp, curved teeth, the fish makes quick work of any prey that...
The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish, uses it's fang-like teeth to grab prey in its deep-sea environment . Like other deep-sea organisms, dragonfish have...
This deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body, a gaping mouth, no fins or scales and a deep lateral line, which detects vibrations in the water. The first specimens...
In the X-ray image of this Viper Moray Eel ( Enchelynassa canina ), note the second set of jaws in the “throat”; these are the gill arches, which are present in all fish. Gill arches support the...
Back at the lab, researchers sort the fish specimens they gathered in the field.
This mysterious deep sea creature , which has an unusual bulge on its snout, grows to only about 68 mm (2.7 in) long. It lives deep in the ocean, like the whalefish . Find out how this fish was part...
This guineafowl moray ( Gymnothorax meleagris ) is one of about 200 species of moray eels found in tropical and subtropical coral reefs . Moray eels are a type of bony fish. Many species, like this...
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