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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Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they...
Can painted wooden fish on a schoolyard fence change human behavior and help...
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Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the...
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish with elongated bodies, have been well-...

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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. To do their job, Eastern...
Two bright orange anemonefish ( Amphiprion ocellaris ) poke their heads...
The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither...

DIVE DEEPER

Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the...
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...
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 robust oval, spine covered body of a long-spined porcupine fish ( Diodon holocanthus ) is revealed in this X-ray image. To ward off predators, a porcupinefish inflates its body by pumping water...
An Arctic cod rests in an ice-covered space. View the “ Under Arctic Ice ” photo essay.
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...
In 1895, two Smithsonian scientists described a new kind of deep sea creature, which they named the “whalefish.” Little did they know, this fish would become one of the prime suspects in an...
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...
The ghoulish “blob sculpin” ( Psychrolutes phrictus ) , a deepwater fish found off the Pacific coast of the U.S. from the Bering Sea to Southern California, can grow to about 70 cm (more than two...
Scientists are excited when they discover an animal where they had never seen it before. This eelpout fish, Lycodes adolfi, was seen on the Pacific side of the Arctic in 2009. Previously, scientists...
Weedy seadragons ( Phyllopteryx taeniolatus ) are found off the coast of south and east Australia. Just like seahorses , the male seadragon is tasked with caring for its eggs. The bright pink eggs...
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 .
The long silver tool shown here is a piece of traditional Australian fishing gear called a “yabbie pump.” Researchers use the device to collect burrowing shrimp and other fast-moving animals from the...
Fish spears and fish weirs—fish traps placed in rivers—are traditional ways of catching salmon on rivers. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
When most people think of catfish, they think of a freshwater fish. But the striped eel catfish ( Plotosus lineatus ) is found in marine systems including coral reefs, estuaries, tide pools and other...
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...
All over the world, people have been witnessing gigantic blooms of tens of thousands of jellyfish where once there were only a few. Fishers find them clogging their nets and costing them dearly. In...
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...
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...
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