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This short video takes you two hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and some 6,600 feet below the water's surface to observe the Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis bathynectes ). Little is known about...
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Not all slugs (snails without shells) are slimy brown pests found in your...
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...

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Most lobsters are a mottled brown color, but sometimes you can see a strange orange or blue lobster. And then, when lobsters are cooked, they turn bright red. Why is there such a rainbow of lobster colors? As explained in this...
"While Komodo Island, Indonesia is famous for its giant prehistoric lizard,...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright...

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Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean's water column around the world. They are...
“The largest land migration of any animal on Earth, as many as 120 million crabs carpet the island in red as they move from the rain forest to the coast.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Stephen...
Welcome to Citizens of the Sea , a new blog series where ocean life comes to life. Our book by the same name came out in September, but no sooner had it gone off to the printer than new ocean stories...
This tiny, shrimplike creature is no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long, but it’s as ferocious as a shark. Its giant eyes spot prey. Huge claws grab the prey, and a tiny mouth rips it to shreds...
This nudibranch, or shell-less marine snail, is making a comeback to a location it hasn't been to in years along the California coast. First discovered off the coast of Southern California in 1902,...
A fan-shaped colony of red coral ( Corallium sp.) on the Davidson Seamount provides a perch for three basket stars as they feed. See more pictures of coral in our Deep-sea Corals article.
This nudibranch has a few tricks up its sleeve: it steals jellyfish tentacles to use as weapons against its own enemies. How does it do this? Many fleshy, tentacle-like growths, called cerata (...
Seahorses make noise! Seahorses make noises that can be heard underwater similar to the sound of smacking your lips. They make them during feeding and courtship.
The shrimp shown in this picture is a lot smaller then it looks- most adult anemone shrimp will only grow to about ½-1 inches long. Anemone shrimp ( Periclimenes inornatus ), reside as the name...
This purple urchin Paleopneustes cristatus is seldom seen by itself, and can be found in groups of hundreds. Dr. Dave Pawson , a senior scientist at NMNH who studies deep-sea echinoderms, is testing...
A rockfish finds refuge in a deep-sea coral—a red tree coral of the Primnoidae family in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Learn more about deep-sea coral reef ecosystems in our Deep-sea...
This copepod Calanus hyperboreus (up to 7mm in length) lives in the Arctic , usually within 500 meters of the surface. To survive the cold Arctic winters, Calanus hyperboreus builds up dense fat (...
In 1874 Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland displayed the giant squid he bought on the side of his barn, much to the dismay of Mrs. Harvey. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant...
Sea stars ( Odontaster validus ) and sea urchins ( Sterechinus neumayeri ) spread over an algae-covered seafloor off the coast of Antarctica. These two species are often found living in association...
How does a coral spend its day? Most of us would say: not doing much. To the human eye, a coral looks relatively still, waiting in the current and hoping some food will run into its tentacles. But...
Like this ctenophore ( Aulococtena acuminata ), many animals that live in the midwater zone are red—making them almost invisible in the dim blue light that filters down from the sea surface. This...
These corals from the Smithsonian collections are Stephanocyathus (A.) spiniger , a solitary, deep-water stony coral species. Around 74% of all deep-water corals are solitary, living as individual...
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...
The ROV Hyper Dolphin caught this deep-sea jelly (Atolla wyvillei) on film east of Izu-Oshina Island, Japan. When attacked, it uses bioluminescence to "scream" for help—an amazing light show known as...
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