Today's Catch

The Secret Life of Plankton

Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters," says one fish in this video. The world of drifters is the world of zooplankton . Many zooplankton, like the fish, are tiny...
Sea Monster Attack

Sea Monster Attack

A sea monster attacks a ship in an illustration for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. The illustration is by publisher and artist Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who is most famous for his drawings in Verne's books. This terrifying monster looks a...
Pearl oysters create pearls when a hard particle is coated with calcium carbonate (nacre) after entering the oyster.

Pearls of Wisdom

When hoping to discover a pearl, looking inside one of the oysters you slurp may not be the best plan. Food oysters in the family Ostreidae are able to produce pearls, however these tend to be small, irregular, and worth very little . Most pearls...
The Eastern cleaner clingfish cleans parasites off of larger fish.

The Eastern Cleaner Clingfish

The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy. To do their job, Eastern cleaner-clingfish move...
Circular scars from a giant squid sucker on sperm whale skin.

Giant Squid Sucker Marks

Many sperm whales stranded on beaches or caught by whalers exhibit telltale circular scars like these. Only one thing could have made them: the strong suckers that line the giant squid’s eight arms and two long feeding tentacles. Older sperm whales...

Penguins: Popularity, Peril and Poop

Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin species regularly live and breed in frigid...
An array of teeth from ragged tooth sharks.

Smithsonian Shark Teeth collection

An array of teeth from the sand tiger shark Carcharias taurus . The Smithsonian has the largest collection of shark teeth in the world, with more than 90,000 fossil shark teeth. More about sharks and great whites can be found in our Great White...
Pygmy Seahorse Blends Into its Environment

Eye to Eye With a Pygmy Seahorse

A master of disguise, the pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ) grows to only 2cm in length and matches the gorgonian coral that it lives on. The pygmy seahorse is so successful at hiding that it was not found until its home was being studied in...
10 grains of star shaped sand collected from southern Japan

Star Sand Grains Collected from Southern Japan

These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called foraminifera , which build intricate shells from the...
Two bright orange anemonefish poke their heads between anemone tentacles.

Clownfish in their Host Anemone

Two bright orange anemonefish ( Amphiprion ocellaris ) poke their heads between anemone tentacles. Anemonefish are able to swim amongst the stinging tentacles without getting stung — but no one knows exactly sure how. One dominant theory explains...

Pages