Fish

With over 32,000 described fish species, the varieties are endless. Most bony fishes are cold-blooded, covered in scales and breathe using gills—but there are exceptions to all of these rules.  

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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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Salmon are one of the most widely loved varieties of seafood in the world. A...
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Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in...

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This aptly named fish ( Anoplogaster cornuta ) has long, menacing fangs, but the adult fish is small, reaching only about 6 inches (17 cm) in length. It's teeth are the largest in the ocean in proportion to body size, and are so...
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...

DIVE DEEPER

Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the...
Beneath the sun shining through the Red Sea onto a hill of coral, butterfly fish ( Chaetodon lunula ), and angelfish swim together. The two fish can be confused for each other, but are distinguished...
Whalefish mystery solved! The tapetail is the larva of the family. It transforms into either a male (bignose) or female whalefish. The family name is Cetomimidae .
Researchers with the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) collected this sea toad, Chaunax pictus , off the coast of Honduras in 2011. The team is trying to collect sea toads from...
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...
Much like our friend the seahorse , the males of this fish raise the young. As you can see in the photograph above, the male has his clutch of eggs in his mouth. This species ( Opistognathus...
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...
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...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) have discovered a new species of tiny fish in the biodiversity-rich waters of the southern Caribbean...
This map is based on electronic tagging of Atlantic bluefin tuna ( Thunnus thynnus ) from 1996 to 2007. A team of international researchers officially classified the Atlantic bluefin as endangered in...
The sargassum frogfish Histrio histrio (Antennariidae) is a small but voracious predator - it can ingest animals up to it’s own size! The fins of the frogfish are perfect for creeping around in the...
A candy basslet ( Liopropoma carmabi ) was just one of the specimens Smithsonian scientists collected from the deep reefs of Curaçao , in the southern Caribbean. To study biodiversity far below the...
The Sargassum frogfish Histrio histrio (Antennariidae) is a small but voracious predator - it can ingest animals up to it’s own size! The fins of the frogfish are perfect for creeping around in the...
A tiny yellow goby, Lubricogobius exiguus , living inside an abandoned can on the seafloor; Suruga Bay, Japan
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...
Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the complex bone structure and diversity of fish. This image gallery showcases...
"This fish was extremely curious of my Sola modeling light. It continued to come up close to the camera. Location: Green Beach, Okinawa, Japan. Depth: 40ft on a day dive," wrote Shawn Miller of his...
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...
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...
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