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Not all slugs (snails without shells) are slimy brown pests found in your backyard garden. In the ocean they come in a huge variety of colors — some match the background and are hard...
In a decade long project, which ended in October 2010, scientists with the...
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From the giant squid to microscopic squid babies, squids are beautiful and...
Since summer 2013, starfish along both coasts of the United States have been...

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“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright reflection and came eye-to-eye with this beautiful, curious squid," said Charles Viggers, a Nature's Best photographer. Squids have organs in their skin...
This ctenophore (a stingless jellyfish-like animal) is native to the east...
It's a pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ), found in Indonesia's...

DIVE DEEPER

Giant squid live up to their name: the largest giant squid ever recorded by scientists was almost 43 feet (13 meters) long,...
“It is strange to think of a sea turtle as an ecosystem,” says Amanda Feuerstein, program coordinator and research assistant at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, “but they are…...
Massachusetts ceramics artist Joan Lederman glazes her work —including this bowl—with deep sea sediments. Some contain tiny single-celled organisms called foraminifera. Lederman has noticed that...
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...
Success! A so-called "dumbo" octopod is chased and finally captured by a suction device on the ROV, skillfully operated by a pilot on the ship above.
Watch as barnacles feed on bioluminescent dinoflagellates. Barnacles are crustaceans (like crabs, shrimps and lobsters) that secrete their shells for protection while living attached to things like...
A male mudflat fiddler crab ( Uca rapax ) waves its huge claw to impress females and threaten competitors. Only the males have the large claw. When the tide is high, fiddler crabs retreat to their...
Seahorse couples, such as this pair of thorny seahorses ( Hippocampus histrix ) , greet each other every morning with a unique dance that sometimes involves changing color. The couple promenades and...
You are not alone if you don’t know what forams (short for foraminifera) are, so let’s start with the basics. Simply put, forams are single-celled organisms related to the familiar amoeba that...
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...
Species of deep-sea gold coral, or Gerardia , often have a tree-like shape, as you can see in this specimen. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
Climate and sea changes in the Southern Ocean create conditions that favor the growth of salps over krill , the latter of which are a vital food source for seals, whales, and penguins. Salps are...
Last September, the Citizens of the Sea blog series brought you a story of doom and gloom from the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama. That is the time of year we typically study -- and celebrate -- the...
In 1874, Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland bought a dead giant squid caught by fishermen. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid featured story .
A “pink meanie” jellyfish ( Drymonema larsoni )—a species found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean—feeds on a moon jelly ( Aurelia ). Dr. Keith Bayha from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Dr...
Collect, sort, identify, photograph, sample, record. Repeat a couple thousand times. This is what the students and researchers have been doing as the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC)...
"Harlequin shrimp normally live in pairs and their main diet is starfish... It takes a good eye and patience to find this beautiful shrimp, which looks like candy.” -- Nature's Best photographer,...
These brittlestars ( Ophiothela mirabilis ) are not where they belong. These animals, usually found in the Pacific Ocean, were first spotted in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil in 2000. And...
Even on an early winter morning, it was sunny and warm in southern Florida. This was great because, regardless of the weather, Dr. Jon Norenburg and I were going to walk chest-deep into the water to...
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