Today's Catch

May 24, 2016
Credit:

Mandy Lindeberg, NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC.

The ocean sustains land animals besides humans. Here, a fox looks for a meal at low tide on the Arctic Peninsula. When the tide goes out, it leaves behind tidepools full of tasty snacks for foxes and other terrestrial predators such as bears, weasels, and raccoons—as long as they run out before the tide comes back in.Read more
May 23, 2016
Credit:

Brian Skerry

"Leatherback turtles are the oldest, deepest-diving and widest-ranging of all sea turtles, with a lineage that dates back over 100 million years. We can only imagine all that this species has seen and experienced throughout the millennia and yet today they are endangered and face a very uncertain future from human threats such as the harvesting of their eggs and entanglement in fishing gear." —...Read more
May 20, 2016
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several stages to the whale fall ecosystem as different parts of the whale are used up. In the first phase, mobile scavengers such as ratfish, hagfish and sharks smell whale on the water and swim from afar,...Read more
May 19, 2016
Credit:

Linda Snook/NOAA/CBNMS

The Pacific hagfish ( Eptatretus stoutii ), a fish that looks similar to an eel, has no jaw and is totally blind. They find food, often dead fish, through a specialized sense of smell and, because they can absorb nutrients through their skin, can eat by just burrowing into a dead carcass. However, they also eat live prey. Learn more about their habitat, ecology, and slime-producing habits !Read more
May 18, 2016
Credit:

Gustavo Almada (Flickr

Every breeding season, some 400,000 Magellanic penguins ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) come to Punta Tombo, Argentina to nest on the shore. They typically lay two eggs in a burrow or under a bush, and the parents take turns watching the egg or chick and headng out to sea to catch food. In recent years, the parents have had to go farther to catch food that has moved offshore as ocean waters warm from...Read more
May 17, 2016
Credit:

NOAA

Superheated magma, about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, glows orange as it slowly leaks from cracks along the six-mile long active rift zone of the West Mata Volcano in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. The slow-leaking magma doesn't erupt, but bubbles out and solidifies to form pillow basalts, a type of rock commonly found at volcano sites and in the Earth's crust. The volcano's top is nearly a mile below...Read more
May 16, 2016
Credit:

D. Ross Robertson and Carole C. Baldwin

By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) have discovered a new species of tiny fish in the biodiversity-rich waters of the southern Caribbean. The fish, a blenny named Haptoclinus dropi , is only around 2 cm in length with a beautiful color pattern that includes iridescence on the fins. Against a white background, it's hard to see the...Read more
May 13, 2016
Credit:

Photo courtesy of Jim Denny

The Hawaiian petrel ( Pterodroma sandwichensis ) lives over the Pacific ocean unless it is breeding season (March to October) when they can be found nesting on Hawaiian islands. They feed on animals like fish, squid and crustaceans that they swoop down to grab from the water, but their meals may have changed over the past 4,000 years.Read more
May 12, 2016
Credit:

© 2004 Smithsonian Institution

The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that are folded over one another, with colors ranging from blue to green, with purple and red lining. The green coloring is what gives this mollusk it's common name, resembling a head of leafy green lettuce. The sea slug eats green algae , but not all of the algae they eat is digested. Some of the green algae gets shuttled...Read more
May 11, 2016
Tomopteris's bristles produce yellow bioluminescence, a unusual color among midwater animals, nearly all of which make some sort of light. Credit:

@ 2012 KJ Osborn, Smithsonian

Tomopteris are segmented worms that are cousins to earthworms, but belong to a separate group called polychaetes , meaning many (poly) bristles (chaetes). Despite being related to earthworms, they look completely different due to the challenges that come with living in the midwater. They are usually transparent, except when they take on the color of the prey they’ve just eaten (like the one shown...Read more

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