Today's Catch

Mar 16, 2015
Credit:

Raphael Williams

A coral ( Montastraea faveolata ) has just spawned. Each of the hundreds of polyps living in the colony releases a small pink bundle of sperm and eggs. Read more about coral spawing and watch a spawning event .Read more
Mar 13, 2015
Credit:

Chuck Savall

As it clings to a red sea fan, a feather star ( Cenometra bella ) gently waves its slender arms—filtering bits of food from the water. Also known as sea lilies, feather stars are related to sea stars. Learn more about life on coral reefs in the Coral Reefs section .Read more
Mar 12, 2015
Credit:

C. Kyburg; Obtained under NMFS permit #14534

Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar and other noisy human activities. The partnership is bringing more information about how marine mammals, who often rely on sound for foraging, communication and navigation, are impacted. Read more in the blog post from researchers.Read more
Mar 11, 2015
Credit:

© osf.co.uk. All rights reserved.

In this close-up photo, you can actually see the photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, living inside a tiny coral polyp. Look for the brownish-green specks in the colorless polyp. Corals depend on these algae for food and for some of their oxygen. To learn more about coral reefs, explore our featured ecosystem Coral Reefs .Read more
Mar 10, 2015
Credit:

Rod Mast/Marine Photobank

A Galapagos sea lion ( Zalophus wollebaeki ) rests on a beach in Ecuador. The population of these charming animals swings wildly during El Niño events, but is declining overall. They are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List . See more pictures of animals at risk .Read more
Mar 9, 2015
Credit:

©James D. Watt/Ocean Stock

This bluefin trevally is lucky to call Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument , its home. Maro is the largest reef in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and just one of the many marine ecosystems protected in the 140,000 square miles of Papahānaumokuākea, one of the largest marine protected areas in the world. Learn more about Papahānaumokuākea and other...Read more
Mar 6, 2015
Credit:

©Clyde F.E. Roper

This image from a scanning electron micrograph magnifies the tiny teeth that cover the surface of the giant squid’s tongue-like organ, or radula . Seven rows of sharp teeth help direct tiny pieces of food down the squid’s esophagus (only three are shown here). Because the esophagus passes through the brain before reaching the stomach, the pieces of food must be small. Read more about the giant...Read more
Mar 4, 2015
Credit:

Antonina Rogacheva, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow

This new species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was discovered by Census of Marine Life researchers in the frigid waters of the Arctic . Since the 1800s, researchers observed sea cucumbers similar to this one in the Arctic at all depths, from shallow to deep, and assumed they were all the same species, Elpidia glacialis . But after the Census, researchers think that E. glacialis...Read more
Mar 3, 2015
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

Another common species of sargassum shrimp, Leander tenuicornis (Palaemonidae) can be spotted by its long transparent claws or "chelae". Very similar shrimp are found in near shore habitats all around the world. Using genetic tests we may determine if they are the same species, or two different species that look the same. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral...Read more
Mar 2, 2015
The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of the area that can be inhabited by life, along with geological features , such as the world's largest mountain range and the deepest canyon . Despite its vast space, the ocean can be impacted by human...Read more

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