Today's Catch

Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Alan Studley/Nature’s Best Photography

“This shark was cruising low along the reef known as Alcyone. Her left eye was glancing up toward other hammerheads when I took this shot from below.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Alan Studley. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from the 2010 Nature's Best Ocean Views photo contest.Read more
Oct 16, 2014
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were lost at sea by fishers; others were discarded overboard when they ripped or became tangled. Regardless, once they are adrift, they catch and kill many sea creatures that get in their way. But it doesn't have to be this way. The plastic that makes up the discarded nets could be reused and recycled—if only there were a way...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a former Smithsonian coral biologist, in 1947. Trapezia crabs live on and within corals, feeding on their tissue and mucus, and protect them from predators such as crown-of-thorns starfish . Bayer made these drawings in 1947, one year after the US military tested nuclear bombs on the coral reefs of Bikini Atoll in the...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) are big, but they're not the biggest whales. That distinction goes to the Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ), the largest animal on Earth. While the Orca, or Killer whale size of up to 31 feet make it the largest dolphin. The Sperm whale on the other hand may not be the biggest whale, but it has the biggest brain...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

NOAA

One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) pictured here, is being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. Trapped in a net, the turtles are dragged through the water with no access to the surface to breathe, causing them to drown. To address this problem, NOAA Fisheries worked with the shrimp trawling industry to install escape hatches...Read more
Sep 30, 2014
Credit:

© David Shale

The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing tip that may attract prey. With its large mouth and sharp, curved teeth, the fish makes quick work of any prey that venture too close. Scaly dragonfish live at depths of 200-1,500 meters (656-4,921 feet) and grow up to 32 centimeters (12.6 inches) long. More about deep ocean can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration...Read more
Sep 28, 2014
This octopod is sometimes called a “Dumbo” octopod because its fins resemble the ears of Disney’s Dumbo the elephant. The video was recorded in 2003 on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by the Russian manned submersible MIR 2. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration featured story . Note: this video contains no audio.Read more
Sep 26, 2014
The Amazon river is the largest river in the world. It drains the entire Amazon rainforest, sending leftover nutrients, detritus, and minerals from the South American jungle out into the tropical Atlantic Ocean. This runoff forms a freshwater plume, hundreds of miles across, that profoundly affects the ocean underneath it. In the video below, researchers share their findings from a study of the...Read more
Sep 25, 2014
Credit:

Kevin Rolle

The Laysan albatross ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) breeds mainly in Hawaii and other Pacific islands where male and female pairs will incubate their egg for nine weeks. The pair participates in an elaborate courtship dance where movements and noises bond them together for the rest of their lives. After breeding season is over the birds move north and west towards Japan and Alaska. Their main food...Read more
Sep 24, 2014
Credit:

Carl Buell, http://carlbuell.com/

Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi , unnamed protocetid, Ocucajea picklingi , and Supayacetus muizoni . Smithsonian curator and paleobiologist Dr. Nicholas D. Pyenson was on the team that discovered the marine fossils in Peru's Pisco Basin...Read more

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