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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 offer. But there is:...
In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) below the ocean's...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place...
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would...

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Follow a journey with satellite tags placed on bull sharks and tarpon. Both of these large predatory fish are found in coastal in-shore ecosystems and the two species have similar diets. If given the opportunity, bull sharks will...
When most people think of catfish, they think of a freshwater fish. But the...
The three-spot frogfish ( Lophiocharon trisignatus ), seen here off the...

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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...

The Ocean Blog

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...
The ocean is home to many moms of all shapes and sizes: from charismatic polar bears and dolphins to small fishes and shrimps and more. Learn about some of the diverse parenting habits of marine moms...
"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...
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...
The sargassum fish ( Histrio histrio ) is a member of the frogfish family (Antennariidae) and typically lives in open waters near floating sargassum seaweed, which offers camouflage. Although capable...
Are these three fish related? All three—a whalefish, bignose, and tapetail—became the prime suspects in an international scientific mystery. Each species seemed to be missing either a member of the...
Under white light, this shortnose greeneye fish ( Chlorophthalmus agassizi ) looks unimpressive. But, in dim blue light—the type usually seen at depth—it shows its true fluorescent colors. NOAA...
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 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...
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,...
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...
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...
Dampier was not able to collect specimens of fishes and other ocean life. But he had his shipboard artist carefully record the species that Dampier found new and unusual.
A parrotfish ( Chlorurus sordidus ) creates a mucus cocoon to protect it from parasites, like bloodsucking isopods , while it sleeps. Read more from the Citizens at Sea blog .
This is an unidentified moray eel , collected from 650 feet off the coast of Curacao. Morays are very secretive animals that tend to stay hidden in caves and crevices. Researchers with the Deep Reef...
Ocean creatures may not sing carols and go ice skating, but some celebrate the winter holidays all year round! So turn on the “Jingle Shell Rock” and celebrate with these intriguing ocean animals.
CREDIT: Wikimedia User “Fisherman” Because of consumer demand for sashimi (a fresh raw seafood dish), the fishing pressure on Atlantic bluefin tuna is extraordinarily high. The sale of a single...
A school of yellowfin surgeonfish, Acanthurus xanthopterus , feed near dusk off Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, one of the world's largest marine protected areas. Think this photo should be...
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