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In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) below the ocean's surface, things happen slowly. Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) , deep ocean fish that were once known as "slimeheads" because...
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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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Claws, spines, spikes, tentacles, and fangs. Aliens, monsters, and ghostly...

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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...
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...
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...
Just like other seahorse species, male weedy sea dragons are the ones to get 'pregnant' and give birth to the babies. To show he is ready to hold eggs, the male wrinkles part of his tail. On this...
This bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are near by gathering tightly together in a ball-like formation that exposes the least number of fish. Fish species found in the...
A wrought iron butterflyfish , Chaetodon daedalma , being cleaned by a small wrasse in the waters of Japan's Ogasawara Islands.
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...
“ This moray eel was resting among some hard coral and was mesmerized by my dive lights, making it a very cooperative subject. The moray eel rhythmically opens and closes its mouth to move water...
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...
Ichthyologist John R. Paxton of the Australian Museum studies freshly caught lanternfishes. Paxton was on the team that solved the whalefish mystery .
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...
Arctic cod have a special protein that keeps their blood from freezing in ice-cold Arctic waters.
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 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...
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.
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,...
Smithsonian researchers collected a cave basslet ( Liopropoma mowbrayi ) from the deep reefs of Curaçao , in the southern Caribbean. They used a state-of-the-art submersible to obtain the specimen...
With gnarled teeth and a perpetual frown, the sea wolf is a creature out of our nightmares! But despite its fearsome look, it isn't a danger to humans, largely preying on whelks, crabs, and sea...
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...
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