Today's Catch

Nov 10, 2015

Jose Alejandro Alvarez

The larger fish in this picture are called sweetlips ( Plectorhinchus ) because of their big, fleshy lips. There are over thirty species of sweetlips, which tend to live on coral reefs in small groups. “On an afternoon dive, I spotted a small group of sweetlips in the current among a shoal of juvenile convict blennies. It took me some time to get close to the fish without spooking them. I took...Read more
Nov 9, 2015

Jeff Gage/Florida Museum of Natural History

This well-preserved fossil is the only intact partial skull ever found of a white shark that lived about 6.5 million years ago called Carcharodon hubbelli . The fossil jaw contains 222 teeth, some in rows up to six teeth deep, and may provide evidence that modern day great white sharks evolved from the ancestors of mako sharks, not the megalodon.Read more
Nov 6, 2015

Kenneth Kopp

This nudibranch, or shell-less marine snail, is making a comeback to a location it hasn't been to in years along the California coast. First discovered off the coast of Southern California in 1902, Felimare californiensis was thought to be extinct in the region since 1984 due to pollution. But the nudibranch with its blue and gold color scheme has been spotted off the Southern California coast...Read more
Nov 5, 2015

John Sylvester/Nature's Best Photography

Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal breeding grounds are being lost in the North Atlantic and Arctic. “Every March, up to 200,000 harp seal pups are born on sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due...Read more
Nov 4, 2015

Allen Collins

This rare staurozoan , or stalked jellyfish ( Haliclystus californiensis ) is about 2 centimeters in length and was collected off the coast of California. Unlike the traditional bell-shaped floating jellyfish, staurozoans live attached to rocks or other hard surfaces and mostly live in cold water. They tend to blend in with their surroundings, so often go unnoticed except to those who seek them...Read more
Nov 3, 2015

© Alison Kock, Save Our Seas

A great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) emerges from the water's surface, gaping at the photographer. Gaping is a way sharks communicate with each other, and maybe even try and communicate with humans. In addition to gaping, sharks have six highly refined senses for both hunting and communication: smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and electromagnetism. These finely honed senses coupled...Read more
Nov 2, 2015

Bill & Mark Bell, Flickr

The three-spot frogfish ( Lophiocharon trisignatus ), seen here off the coast of Western Australia, looks like it might just be a rock or a part of the sea floor! Frogfish use various methods of camouflage such as their rough shape, color changes and even inflation to hide from their predators. The male of this species carries clusters of eggs on its side while they develop.Read more
Oct 30, 2015

SINC Agency, Spain & Guerra-García, José Manuel

Skeleton shrimp are amphipods (a type of crustacean related to shrimp and crabs). They have grasping legs to hang onto their surroundings as they sway with the current and use their front claws to grab their food—algae, detritus, and copepods. This tiny species only reaches a length of about one-eighth an inch (the female is smaller, only a tenth of an inch, seen here on the left) and is found in...Read more
Oct 22, 2015

Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria

The goblin shark ( Mitsukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense electric fields in the deep, dark water it calls home. But even stranger is its jaw. Though close to the head in this picture, it can be extended to the length of its snout to help the goblin shark ambush...Read more
Oct 21, 2015

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