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Depending on whom you talk to, jellyfish are either fascinating, a nuisance, a toxic menace, or some combination of the above. Jellyfish plop into the media spotlight when their presence causes beach closures, or...
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have...
What reef animal comes in a rainbow of crazy colors, can throw out its stomach...
This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue,...

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The sea hare gets its common name from its equivalent of nose and tongue—external sensory organs for smell and taste called rhinophores—which look like bunny ears. The sea hare, however, doesn't hop like a rabbit: it is a sea...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright...
This ctenophore (a stingless jellyfish-like animal) is native to the east...

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Giant squid live up to their name: the largest giant squid ever recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet (13 meters) long,...

The Ocean Blog

A cnidarian brought up from the Arctic seafloor more than 2000 meters (6562 feet) deep.
This male dancing fiddler crab ( Uca terpsichores ) has built a sand “hood” at the entrance to his burrow, which he hopes will attract females to his humble abode—as if that big beautiful claw of his...
Since late April, the world has watched a devastating oil spill from a BP drilling rig spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico and become one of the worst environmental disasters in the history of the...
Acorn barnacles ( Balanus crenatus ) make a home on the carapace of an edible crab ( Cancer pagurus ). Much of the Baltic suffers from eutrophication that leads to oxygen depletion. The algae blooms...
If there had been room to stand up, there would have been a standing ovation. As it was, the five of us on the submersible Curasub clapped and cheered when the first three deep-reef ARMS (Autonomous...
With 1,400 named species of ribbon worms inhabiting every ecosystem on earth, seeking one out should be an easy proposition. But I quickly learned that it can be quite daunting when you’re looking...
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law on December 28, 1973 by President Nixon. Over 2,000 species are currently on the ESA, and they are separated into "Threatened" and "Endangered"...
Smithsonian Marine Science Network Postdoctoral Fellow, Seabird McKeon, returns from the Smithsonian field site in Belize. Together with Dan Barshis of Stanford University, Seabird reports on the...
White abalones are slow-moving, algae-eating mollusks. Rapid overharvesting since the 1970s has resulted in white abalones becoming the first marine invertebrate listed as endangered on the...
A cameraman navigates a smack of sea nettles ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) in Monterey Bay. A group of jellies is known as a "smack."
This brightly colored squat lobster collected in Moorea is a common find among the coral heads. Although called lobsters, this group of crustaceans is more closely related to hermit crabs than to...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light rarely reaches those depths, and most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to see red. The long, complex tentacles of this...
Dryodora glandiformis is a ctenophore found in Arctic and Northern European waters, bearing a pair of long and lovely tentacles.
“This image was captured during an evening dive in water where the largest migration on Earth occurs nightly," said Nature's Best Photographer Joshua Lambus. The migration he speaks of is the diel...
A huge colony of brittlestars (likely Ophiacantha rosea ) covers the peak of a seamount in the deep ocean. What’s the attraction? Food! Their arms reach out for tiny food particles carried by the...
Come along as scientist Dr. Brendan Roark narrates a submersible dive to collect and study deep-sea corals. Roark studies deep-sea corals to understand the history of the ocean and past ocean...
How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a feel for the ocean's diversity, scientists, such as those involved in the Census of Marine Life , sail out on research...
These newly hatched arrow squid larvae ( Doryteuthis plei ) are each tinier than the head a pin. Free from their yolk sac, they will drift with the current out to sea as zooplankton. Many animals eat...
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