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Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows of red, green,...
Scientists describe the amazing bioluminescent creatures they encounter as they...
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The open ocean is surprisingly barren to the naked eye. Every now and again you...
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Everyone knows what a fish is: from a pet goldfish to a wild sunfish, fish are...

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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 water's surface, the...
Two bright orange anemonefish ( Amphiprion ocellaris ) poke their heads...
The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither...

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By Lindsay Aylesworth, Project Seahorse The day I stepped into my wetsuit, donned my mask, and embarked on my first scuba...
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...
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...
These beautiful mandarinfish ( Synchiropus splendidus ) are covered in bright blue, red, yellow and orange waves. What they lack, however, are traditional fish scales. They live in western Pacific...
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...
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...
“ 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...
A blue cod and sea pens , a unique type of cnidarian , speckle the seafloor in New Zealand's Fiordland region.You can see more beautiful underwater photos from Brian Skerry in his image gallery .
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...
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...
Welcome to Moorea, a tiny, isolated island in the middle of the vast Pacific. Moorea is 132 square kilometers (51 square miles) of tropical ecosystems – from jungle and wetlands to beaches and coral...
A pair of French Angelfish ( Pomacanthus paru ) swim off the coast of Brazil. This species demonstrates a rare quality among ocean fish: mating pairs appear to spend extended time together, defending...
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 clearly pictured spines, rays and snout make identifying this longnose butterflyfish ( Forcipiger longirostris ), which was collected in French Polynesia in 2004, straightforward in this X-ray...
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.
A few years ago, I was in New Zealand photographing a story about the value of marine reserves (a type of marine protected area ). My last location was a place called the Poor Knights Islands , a...
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...
Cardinalfish ( Cheilodipterus sp. ) dads do their part to protect their eggs by gingerly carrying them in their mouths. However, the dads could easily swallow the whole bunch in one gulp! To keep her...
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,...
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