Ocean Life & Ecosystems

From the tiny to the titanic, from the familiar to the undiscovered, the ocean offers a stunning diversity of marine life and nearly every kind of habitat imaginable. Dive in and explore them here.

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This recently discovered hairy crab species (Kiwa hirsuta) has no eyes.

DIVE DEEPER

The Census of Marine Life

Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old...
A scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) at Isla del Coco, Costa Rica.

Do Sharks Smell in Stereo?

A scalloped hammerhead shark at Isla del Coco, Costa Rica. Credit: © Terry Goss 2008/Marine Photobank Animals, on land and in the ocean, live in a 3-D world, and they depend on their sense...
A crocodile sits in water at Sundarbans National Park in India.

Sundarbans National Park, India

The Sundarbans National Park site in India was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1987. The site, located in the Ganges delta, contains the world's largest mangrove forest and hosts a number of...

Whalefish Swimming in the Ocean

Marine biologists discover a whalefish -- an incredibly rare deep-sea fish -- swimming in the ocean in this video. Because it is so dark where they live, females have well-developed sensory pores, called the...

Marine World Heritage Photo Gallery

Marine World Heritage is a prestigious list of 43 marine ecosystems and biodiversity treasures from across the globe, including countries such as Australia, Iceland, Russia, South Africa, the Phillippines, United States, and Yemen. Together,...
Pike Place Fish Market

World Fisheries from Sea to Table

Worldwide, fisheries touch our lives in countless ways. If well maintained, they can feed millions of people, generate jobs and income, help maintain long-standing community and cultural traditions, and provide a range of products...
Neighborhood Seafood Market in Rome, Italy

Seafood for Thought

A neighborhood seafood market in the Testaccio area of Rome, Italy. Credit: Oceansart.us /Marine Photobank Sunday, November 21 marks World Fisheries Day , an annual occasion observed in many fishing communities around the world...

Don't Feed Wild Dolphins

A Twelve-Step group for wild animals with people-food addictions? Don’t be responsible for getting a dolphin hooked on human handouts! This cartoon satire portrays a dolphin trying to break his addiction. Marine mammals around...
Overfishing is leading to an abundance of less desirable species like jellyfish.

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish

With more desirable species being fished out and jellyfish blooming, will jellyfish sandwiches soon be on the menu? Credit: David Beck / Jennifer Jacquet All over the world, people have been witnessing gigantic blooms...
Cut of Atlantic Salmon on a Plate

Love Salmon? Listen Up.

A beautiful cut of Atlantic salmon, a popular species among seafood lovers that is in severe decline. Credit: Flickr User Kent Wang (Creative Commons) Salmon are one of the most widely loved varieties of...
Boat Propeller Fouled With Barnacles

No Fouling Around

Home is where the hull is: Since the dawn of seafaring, humankind has had to deal with pesky creatures, such as barnacles, that “foul” ship hulls and boat propellers like this one. Credit: Flickr...
Hammerhead Shark, Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Ocean Views from Nature's Best Photos

The winners of the 2010 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views Contest are a stunning sample of marine wildlife and ocean vistas from around the globe. The 2011 contest is open to photographers of all...
A surfer waits for the perfect wave.

Surfer at Bogue Banks, North Carolina, USA

“As I set up for a sunset shot—one last, solitary surfer exited the water and I quickly fired a few frames trying to capture the serenity of the moment.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Karen...
A team of scientists explore the Arctic ocean.

Under Arctic Ice

Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
Three Killer whales (Orca) swim along side researchers.

Listening for Clues About Sonar’s Effects on Marine Mammals

Researchers study the behavior of killer whales and how they react to sonar. Credit: C. Kyburg; Obtained under NMFS permit #14534 Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and...

ROV Video of Stunning Creatures

Using an ROV (Remotely-Operated Vehicle) equipped with a high-definition video camera, scientists can observe the life that flourishes beneath the Arctic ice . On this expedition, they discovered creatures, like this Narcomedusa jelly ,...

Arctic Scientists at Work

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 amount of...

Sea Lion Sickness

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 harmful and...

Whale Rescue

When a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale becomes entangled in fishing gear, members of a response team from the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network spring into action. In the past 25 years, dozens...

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