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How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting snapshots into the daily lives of whales , sharks , and even fish by tagging the animals to track their...
A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ) recovers at the...
These baby olive ridleys ( Lepidochelys olivacea ) will eventually provide a...
An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass ...

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“I slowly approached this bird resting on the back of a turtle just under the surface of the water. I got the shot just before the tern flew away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Nuno Sá. See more beautiful ocean photos in our...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several...
A diet of algae and seagrasses gives this turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) greenish...

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There are seven species of sea turtles, which are marine reptiles that need to breathe air to survive. Six of the seven...
A spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodiles) patrols a salty pond at the Smithsonian Institution’s research station in Bocas del Toro, Panama. A bony ridge between its eyes gives it the appearance of...
“As an underwater nature photographer, I struggled for a new way to bring back visions of fish and fauna. Soon I discovered that taking water out of the picture, rendering it invisible while it is...
Unlike the other six species of marine turtle, the Australian flatback ( Natator depressus ) has a very limited distribution, found only from northern Australia to Papua New Guinea/Indonesia and it...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
Kemp’s ridley turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) are one of the smallest sea turtles, weighing only 100 lbs (45 kg). Adults spend most of their time in shallow coastal areas in places with mud, sand, or...
A giant tortoise subspecies ( Geochelone nigra vicina ) lives on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Cerro Azul, estimated to be about 350,000 years old, is one of six volcanoes on the island.
A young Kemp's ridley sea turtle ( Lepidochelys kempii ) recovers at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Turtles were cleaned and nursed back to health with...
On the Galapagos Islands, William Dampier wrote excitedly of the giant tortoises he encountered: “I do believe there is no place in the world that is so plentifully stored with these animals….” This...
Amanda Feuerstein with a nesting olive ridley ( Lepidochelys olivacea ). Feuerstein is a co-author of a study that surveyed algae, crustaceans, mollusks, and other epibionts that live on olive ridley...
Like other sea snakes , the turtle-headed sea snake ( Emydocephalus annulatus ) has fangs and venom. But its venom is weak so, instead of defending with a bite, the species tends to react to danger...
The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several species of geckos that live in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay. More about mangroves can be found in our...
“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…...
"As part of a site fidelity and migration study, this Hawksbill Sea Turtle has a small transmitter that sends its positions to orbiting satellites so that scientists can learn more of their habitat...
The Kemp’s ridley is a “riddler” among sea turtles . Although the species was initially recognized in 1880, scientists didn't know where it nested until 80 years later, when a film documenting about...
Hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) are small to medium-sized turtles, but can get as large as 200 lbs (91 kg). Adults live among healthy coral reef communities, feeding primarily on sponges...
A diet of algae and seagrasses gives this turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) greenish colored fat—and its name. Weighing as much as 500 pounds, the threatened green sea turtle lives its life at sea, with only...
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting snapshots into the daily lives of whales , sharks , and even fish by tagging the animals to track their movements. You’ve...
Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and...
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