Today's Catch

Sep 18, 2014
Illustrator Drew Christie created this light-hearted short film about how humans could really learn something from whales. Check it out and learn about all the different cetaceans and our commonalities, such as a shared love for vacations in Hawaii and music.Read more
Sep 16, 2014
Credit:

New England Aquarium

Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The dogs find about four times more whale poop with their scent detection than the researchers would using other methods. Why are they looking for poop? Researchers analyze the scat to learn more about the...Read more
Sep 15, 2014
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here, National Museum of Natural History staffer Katie Velazco goes eye-to-eye with a preserved example from the Smithsonian's collection . Why do they need such big eyes? The deep ocean is so dark that bigger...Read more
Sep 12, 2014
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path to freedom.Read more
Sep 11, 2014
Credit:

Kunio Amaoka

This deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body, a gaping mouth, no fins or scales and a deep lateral line, which detects vibrations in the water. The first specimens were discovered by two Smithsonian scientists in fish collections at the National Museum of Natural History more than a century ago. In the 1980s, a different scientist realized that they only had female...Read more
Sep 10, 2014
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Blast fishing, when dynamite or other explosives are used to stun or kill fish, is a practice used in many villages and isolated regions of the world. Hundreds of fish can be seen strewn across the reef, left as bycatch, such as these tropical fish in Thailand. Fishers are targeting larger, valuable species such as grouper which command a hefty price at the market—yet all the reef species pay the...Read more
Sep 9, 2014
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“Lembeh Strait is a fantastic place to find species that have evolved to resemble other animals or plants to survive. Because of the lens I was using, I had to get really close to this crab. As I moved in, it retreated into the xenia coral polyps. When I backed up, it came back out. The skittish crab, in addition to having the wrong lens for the task, made this a challenging shot.” -- Nature's...Read more
Sep 8, 2014
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© Michael Moore/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This close-up photo of a right whale's head shows dozens of hitchhikers—tiny crustaceans known as whale lice, or cyamid amphipods. They live on the rough patches of skin (known as callosities) on North Atlantic right whales , eating algae that settles there and only causing minor skin damage. Distinctive patterns formed by their white bodies crowding around rough patches on whales’ skin help...Read more
Sep 5, 2014
Credit:

Brian Skerry, National Geographic

A gentoo penguin ( Pygoscelis papua ) mother stands with her chick in Antarctica. When walking on land, gentoo penguins waddle with their long tails dragging behind them; but in the water, they are the fastest penguins of them all, reaching swimming speeds of 36 kilometers per hour (around 22 miles per hour). The penguins breed on islands in the Antarctica, stacking stones to build nests to keep...Read more
Sep 4, 2014
Credit:

© Brian Skerry, www.brianskerry.com

A yellow moray eel, Gymnothorax prasinus , inside of a sea sponge in the waters off of Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand. Photographer Brian Skerry takes an artistic eye to his underwater photography, such as the blurred yellow illuminating the otherwise well-hidden eel. In his book Ocean Soul , he wrote, “I believe my most important role remains as artistic interpreter of all that I see. I need...Read more

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