Today's Catch

Jul 31, 2014
Credit:

Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. Image taken under NOAA NMHSRP permit #932-1489, with the authority of the US Endangered Species Act Inset: Smithsonian Institution

This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and often distressed) whale, working with ropes pulled very tight and sharp blades. Special teams of experts around the world are trained in the necessary procedures to help free these beautiful giants...Read more
Jul 30, 2014
When you look underwater, what is making the seagrass wave in the water? The answer is ocean currents . Ocean currents are continuous movements of water in the ocean that follow set paths, kind of like rivers in the ocean. They can be at the water's surface or go to the deep sea; some are very large, like Japan's Kuroshio Current, which is equal in volume to 6,000 large rivers, while others are...Read more
Jul 29, 2014
Credit:

Flickr user PacificKlaus

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 by swimming back to a crack or crevice to hide. For food, the sea snake sneaks around coral reefs looking for fish eggs attached to coral or rocks. It then uses a large tooth-like scale on each side of...Read more
Jul 28, 2014
Credit:Ernst Stewart
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. S he’s been diving with sharks since the age of twelve. Here she is feeding a group of Caribbean reef sharks. Now 20, Madison has made it her life’s mission to safeguard the creatures and the reefs she loves. Read more in her blog post.Read more
Jul 25, 2014
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

Starksia blennies, small fish with elongated bodies, generally native to shallow to moderately deep rock and coral reefs in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. It would have been reasonable to assume that there was little about the group left to discover. Using modern genetic analysis combined with traditional examination of morphology...Read more
Jul 23, 2014
Credit:

Brian Henderson, Flickr user stinkenroboter

The blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus ) is one of the most important commercial species in the United States, especially in the Chesapeake Bay region on the Mid-Atlantic coast. Its populations are affected by local water quality, overfishing, reproduction dynamics and bycatch amounts, and efforts to protect the region and crab species have been ongoing. Parasites can also affect the commercial...Read more
Jul 22, 2014
Credit:

Flickr user Bill & Mark Bell

What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more carbon than tropical forests , which means they play an important role in both removing excess carbon from the atmosphere and storing that carbon for the long haul...Read more
Jul 21, 2014
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

Like this ctenophore ( Aulococtena acuminata ), many animals that live in the midwater zone are red—making them almost invisible in the dim blue light that filters down from the sea surface. This small comb jelly snares prey with its two short tentacles. Read m ore about the deep sea and comb jellies .Read more
Jul 18, 2014
Credit:

Joel Butnick, Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005. Courtesy of Project Seahorse

Seahorses are hitchhikers. They can travel long distances across the ocean—farther than they can swim—by attaching themselves to floating seaweed and debris. Read 10 more facts you never knew about seahorses .Read more
Jul 17, 2014
Credit:

Dietmar Temps (Flickr)

A parent Magellanic penguin ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) sits with its big chick. Magellanic penguins live in South America, breeding in colonies along the coasts of Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Islands, and some migrate north to Brazil. Parents typically lay two eggs under a bush or in a burrow, taking turns swimming out to sea to catch food for their chicks. But the largest colony in the...Read more

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