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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Chrysaora melanaster is a jellyfish found in the Arctic.

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Jellyfish and Comb Jellies

Jellyfish and comb jellies are gelatinous animals that drift through the ocean's water column around the world. They are...
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...

Medicines from the Sea

You may not think of the ocean as a pharmacy but scientists are developing exciting new medicines from the sponges, corals, and other marine organisms found in the sea. Explore other videos that capture...

Coral Forests of the Deep Ocean

Corals are not only found in shallow tropical waters, but in cold, dark, deep areas of the sea. Amazing coral forests are found at depths of 60-3,050 meters (200-10,00 feet). They support an abundance...

Submarine Volcanoes and Hydrothermal Vents

Recent scientific discoveries have revealed an underwater community of marine animals and other organisms that thrive in the dark depths of the ocean near hydrothermal vents and undersea volcanoes. This ocean ecosystem is dependent...

National Ice Center Monitors the Arctic and Antarctic

The National Ice Center’s work is focused on ensuring safe and efficient navigation, but it also supports scientific research and provides crucial information used by scientists to better monitor and understand climate change ...

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