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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 spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the Atlantic coast. The native...
The Pacific hagfish ( Eptatretus stoutii ), a fish that looks similar to an...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef...

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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...
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...
The whale shark ( Rhincodon typus ) is the largest fish on Earth. They spend most of their lives in the deep water up to 200 meters or more, but swim up to the surface to gather food and warm their...
No two snowflakes are alike. Every snowflake is beautiful in its own way. But this one’s pretty creepy. The snowflake moray eel ( Echidna nebulosa ) has white, black and yellow splotches all over its...
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...
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau . This fish exhibits many primitive...
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 tiny yellow goby, Lubricogobius exiguus , living inside an abandoned can on the seafloor; Suruga Bay, Japan
There are about 4 million specimens in the fish collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History . It is the largest of its kind in the world. Learn how these collections helped to solve...
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...
In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the brackish Baltic Sea . The Baltic faces challenges from pollution, algae blooms, over fishing, and invasive species. Oceana...
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...
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,...
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...
CREDIT: Chris Kenaley The Mystery Develops Flash forward to 1956, when scientists described another new kind of fish. It was named the tapetail because of its long, streamer-like tail. It also had a...
These statistics come from a United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization 2007 review of the status of global fish stocks. Learn more in our Sustainable Seafood section .
The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy...
Editor's Note: See more information and details about the organisms displayed in the slideshow here . Researchers who come to Curaçao to take part in DROP ( Deep Reef Observation Project ) aren’t...
Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this...
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