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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “ The Last Ocean .” And it’s not just a ploy...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by...
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Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in...

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Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke whale, another on seals, and the...
This new species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was...
Chrysaora melanaster , one of the largest jellyfish commonly found in the...

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Travel to the ends of the earth—literally—and discover the polar ocean basins. Both the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean...
Arctic cod have a special protein that keeps their blood from freezing in ice-cold Arctic waters.
The Greenland glacier Jakobshavn Isbrae is massive, at around 40 miles long and more than a mile thick. It's famous among glaciers as the source of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic—but it's...
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
Found in Arctic waters, this rare deep-water species of larvacean , Oikopleura gorskyi , eats by filtering particles from the seawater it drifts through. Larvaceans build 'houses' around themselves...
Chapter 3: Fragile Fauna Jelly Critters Grade Level: 5-6 Focus: Life Science- Gelatinous zooplankton in the Canada Basin Description: In this activity, students will be able to compare and contrast...
The Boreoatlantic armhook squid ( Gonatus fabricii ) is named for its fabulous (but dangerous) suckers. While most squids have just two rows of suckers lining each arm, armhook squids have four—and...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
The Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media bring us another installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . In this podcast, host Ari Daniel Shapiro relates two close calls with polar...
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and can grow to be 100 pounds. This species breeds directly on the ice: a female lays her...
New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can...
Walruses use sea ice as platforms on which to nurse their young and launch their dives for clams and other bottom-dwellers. Each spring, walruses move northward to stay close to these perches as ice...
Arctic scientists study a range of marine animals – from large species like polar bears to the microscopic, like phytoplankton. The amount of phytoplankton at different depths can tell us about the...
In the spring of 2011, a research crew from Oceana spent two months in the brackish Baltic Sea . The Baltic faces challenges from pollution, algae blooms, over fishing, and invasive species. Oceana...
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...
Small Adélie penguins live throughout the Antarctic, but are most abundant in the area of the Ross Sea. They lay eggs on the few rocky outcrops of land not covered in ice. Scientists have determined...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is...
This pair of sea butterflies ( Limacina helicina ) flutter not far from the ocean's surface in the Arctic. Sea butterflies are a type of sea snail, but instead of dragging themselves around the...
Recent Antarctic expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitats and impacts on how the penguins feed, breed, and raise their young.
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