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Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands strong in the...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest...
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Happy International Mangrove Action Day! This occasion is a small but vibrant...
Arching mangrove roots like these help keep trunks upright in the soft...

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An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the southern coast of the United States...
At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that...

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Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that...
The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that are folded over one another, with colors ranging from blue to green, with purple and red lining. The green coloring is...
This shrimp farm in southern Belize is just one example of how mangroves worldwide are giving way to human development. In just the last decade, at least 35 percent of the world's mangroves have been...
Mangrove roots provide support for filter-feeders like sponges, mussels, oysters, and barnacles. These play an important role in keeping the water clear. More about mangroves can be found in our...
On April 27, 1986, an estimated 50,000 barrels of medium-weight crude oil drained from a ruptured storage tank at a refinery in Panama, polluting the coast and the Smithsonian Tropical Research...
In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the...
In summer 2009, in the heart of New Orleans, a 600-foot tanker collided with a 200-foot fuel barge, tearing the barge in half. Several hundred thousand gallons of oil leaked out of the barge and into...
In Edgewater, Maryland, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center examine the influences of climate change, excess nutrients, and surrounding habitats on mangroves. They have also...
Marc Frischer, a microbial ecologist at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography , collects bacteria at the Smithsonian Institution’s field station in Belize. Smithsonian scientists and colleagues from...
This is a close-up view of the peat soil surface in an intact mangrove forest. Mangrove roots help to build the peat underlying mangrove islands Over thousands of years, the organic deposits grow to...
This slug caterpillar ( Acharia horrida ), which will eventually metamorphosize into a very plain brown moth, has stinging spines that are very nasty to rub up against. Although the slug caterpillar...
These Smithsonian field stations enable scientists worldwide to conduct long-term studies on mangrove ecosystems from a range of latitudes. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured...
This orchid ( Brassavola sp. ) grows in the mangroves of Belize—providing a spot of grace and beauty amidst the mud. More about the plants and animals found in mangrove forests can be found in the...
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...
Mangroves canopies support an amazing array of life—including this mangrove yellow warbler ( Dendroica petechia bryanti ), the most common songbird in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
Students are working with the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md., to develop an informal education plan that will communicate information about Chesapeake Bay marsh restoration and explain the...
Rivulus fish live in bodies of water that sometimes become contaminated with hydrogen sulfide—an extremely toxic compound that smells like rotten eggs. When this happens, the adaptable fish wiggle...
Mangroves are survivors. With their roots submerged in water, mangrove trees thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would quickly kill most plants. How do they do it? Through a series of...
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