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The blanket octopus can rip a poisonous tentacle from a Portuguese man-o-war and wield it like a sword to ward off enemies as it soars through the ocean trailing its webbed cloak behind it...
Come one, come all! See the amazing, the astonishing, half-animal, half-plant!...
Several species of amphipod like this one, Gammarus wilkitzkii , live...
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Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure...

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Today, filter feeders like clams, sponges, krill, baleen whales, fishes, and many others fill the ocean, spending their days filtering and eating tiny particles from the water. But when did the first filter feeder evolve? The...
For a long time, scientists thought that some small tentacled fossils were...
This early whale was well suited to life at sea. But it also lived on land...

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Whales swim, but their ancestors walked. Whales are mammals (like us) whose ancestors lived on land. Life probably began in...

The Ocean Blog

When you're standing in a museum surrounded by fossils, you can almost imagine drifting through time to when long-extinct creatures swam the ocean. Found all over the world, these fossils can be read...
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau . This fish exhibits many primitive...
The blanket octopus can rip a poisonous tentacle from a Portuguese man-o-war and wield it like a sword to ward off enemies as it soars through the ocean trailing its webbed cloak behind it...
These "elevator" rudists, an ancient bivalve , used one long heavy valve to anchor themselves in the sediment. They used their tentacles (shown here in pink) to filter food from the sea water...
This family tree shows how the ancestors of whales moved gradually from land to sea. Early whales took advantage of abundant marine resources, feeding on the ocean's fish, squid and other larger food...
Today, filter feeders like clams, sponges, krill, baleen whales, fishes, and many others fill the ocean, spending their days filtering and eating tiny particles from the water. But when did the first...
Come one, come all! See the amazing, the astonishing, half-animal, half-plant! Journey to Tampa Bay, Florida, where scientist Skip Pierce and one of his students first made a remarkable discovery...
Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own...
Vertebrates evolved in the sea and eventually moved onto land. The ancestors of whales later returned to the sea, taking advantage of its rich food supplies. As early whales adapted to their new...
The basic body plans of all modern animals were set during the Cambrian Period, 542 - 488 million years ago. Your friends, family, and pet turtle may not look much like the creatures here. But we and...
Whales swim, but their ancestors walked. Whales are mammals (like us) whose ancestors lived on land. Life probably began in the ocean and then evolved to colonize the land. Yet the whale’s ancestors...
This early whale was well suited to life at sea. But it also lived on land. An ancestor of the right whale , Maiacetus lived 49-40 million years ago. It had flipper-like limbs and webbed feet, like...
A video of the Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) swimming in the Pacific off the Republic of Palau . Jiro Sakaue, a Japanese research diver, first discovered the new genus and species...
Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows...
This summer, many of you have likely enjoyed feasting on crabs, be they blue, stone, or Dungeness, and a special treat will have been the big, easy morsels of claw meat. The size of this muscle is...
Several species of amphipod like this one, Gammarus wilkitzkii , live permanently within Arctic sea ice . These animals are endemic, meaning they only live here. They acclimate to a wide range of...
The whales that we see in today's world can broadly be split into two groups: those with teeth (odontocetes), and those that have baleen (mysticetes) instead of teeth. These two groups share a common...
For a long time, scientists thought that some small tentacled fossils were early ancestors of jellyfish. But a new study has found that these ancient animals are actually related to an entirely...
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