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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...
No iguana wants to be cooked alive on a hot rock and then served up as dinner for a Galapagos hawk. But it turns out the marine iguanas ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus ) have a strategy that warns them of...
Loggerhead turtles ( Caretta caretta ) are named for their large heads and strong jaws, which allow them to eat prey with hard shells, like big marine snails. They live throughout the world’s warm...
“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…...
I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful...
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.
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...
Leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ) are the largest sea turtles, growing as long as six and a half feet (2 m) and weighing some 2,000 pounds (900 kg). They’re unlike the other marine turtles...
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...
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...
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...
In a 2011 study published in the Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History , researchers documented a number of different organisms living on olive ridley and green turtles in the Pacific. Of...
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...
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...
One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) pictured here, is being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. Trapped in a net, the turtles are...
“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...
An abandoned fishing net carrying 17 dead sea turtles was discovered off the coast of Bahia, Brazil days after a storm. One of the biggest threats to sea turtles is being accidentally caught and...
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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