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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...
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When snorkeling in the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (KHFMA) in...
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When we think "Africa," we think of the "Big Five"—lions, elephants, leopards,...
In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) below the ocean's...

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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 open ocean are especially in...
The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish,...
The Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) has an evolutionary...

DIVE DEEPER

By Lindsay Aylesworth, Project Seahorse The day I stepped into my wetsuit, donned my mask, and embarked on my first scuba...
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...
Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained, they can feed millions of people, generate jobs and income, help maintain long-standing community and cultural traditions,...
Two bright orange anemonefish ( Amphiprion ocellaris ) poke their heads between anemone tentacles. Anemonefish are able to swim amongst the stinging tentacles without getting stung — but no one knows...
The elongated body, characteristic long and narrow snout, and small teeth make the slender snipe eel ( Nemichthys scolopaceus ) easily identifiable in this X-ray image. Snipe eels live at great...
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...
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...
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 shadowy fish, Trematomus bernacchii , is well adapted to the ice-cold water of the Antarctic: its blood comes equipped with natural antifreeze. This is a necessary adaptation because the...
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...
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...
A Tapetail is caught on film while swimming over a coral reef off the coast of Japan. Learn more about this unusual organism -- and how it was used to solve a taxonomic mystery .
The larger fish in this picture are called sweetlips ( Plectorhinchus ) because of their big, fleshy lips. There are over thirty species of sweetlips, which tend to live on coral reefs in small...
This photograph, much like Van Gogh’s Starry Night is awhirl with the colors and swishes of hundreds of fish. The focal point, however, is the lionfish. Lionfish ( Pterois antennata ) have been known...
If youngsters get cared for at all, the mother is usually involved. But in fish and a few other groups where eggs are not abandoned, fathers are the primary care providers. Males are sometimes such...
In the X-ray image of this Viper Moray Eel ( Enchelynassa canina ), note the second set of jaws in the “throat”; these are the gill arches, which are present in all fish. Gill arches support the...
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,...
Using genetic analysis combined with traditional study of morphology, Smithsonian scientist Dr. Carole Baldwin and her team discovered that what were thought to be three species of the fish are...
"Macro shot of a whip coral goby, taken in Fiji during a trip to the Somosomo Strait," wrote Erwin Poliakoff of his image , a winning selection in the Portraits of Planet Ocean Flickr contest . Whip...
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