Today's Catch

A school of akule (Hawaiian for bigeye scad) explode into a camera's frame.

Akule Explosion

A school of akule (Hawaiian for bigeye scad) explode into a camera's frame. Wayne Levin followed schools of akule for several years, photographing them and exploring how their group dynamics changed over time. Read more in his blog.

ARMS Deployment from a Submarine

Submarine pilot Bruce Brandt secures ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) to the submersible Curasub off the coast of Curacao. In shallow water, SCUBA divers can place these biodiversity-measuring structures on the seafloor by hand -- but in...
A Pontoh pygmy seahorse

How Many Seahorse Species?

There are 47 different species of seahorses and 14 of those were discovered in the last eight years, including Pontoh's pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus pontohi ), which was officially named in 2008. Seahorses’ ability to change their color and shape to...

Curious Bohar

The twin-spot snapper ( Lutjanus bohar ) is one of the more curious predators in the central Pacific, says marine ecologist Stuart Sandin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "It poses commonly for the camera but is also immediately on-hand...

Pink Coralline Algae

Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and habitat for animals that live on reefs. Unhealthy coral...
Venomous Box Jelly from South Carolina

Venomous Box Jellyfish from South Carolina

This venomous box jelly ( Chiropsalmus quadrumanus ) was collected off the coast of South Carolina. The specimen now resides in the Smithsonian’s marine collection . Its venomous sting can be lethal, especially to small children. Listen to Podcast...
The currents of the North Pacific gyre collect trash—mostly bits of microscopic plastic—into what are known as "garbage patches."

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the western U.S., and north-south...
A transparent amphipod looks a bit like a lobster, surrounded by white eggs.

Amphipod: Salp Invader

Can you spot the amphipod ( Phronima atlantica ) in the below photo? She's the transparent lobster-looking animal in the middle, surrounded by her own eggs -- inside a sac that once was the "barrel" of a salp. Mothers in the genus Phromina attack...
Color illustration of an ancient bivalve.

Elevator Rudists

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. And many often grew together to form early reefs. Learn...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. The inset shows how special fishing lines allow whales to escape such accidental entrapments.

Fishing Gear Solutions

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...

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