Today's Catch

Apr 14, 2016
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos she took of animals in the open ocean making their own light, called bioluminescence, and explains many reasons why they do so. Some predatory fish have glowing lures dangling in front of their mouths...Read more
Apr 13, 2016
Credit:

Art Howard

Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so must do all of their observing and collecting using monitors and joysticks from land. This NOAA expedition to study deep-sea corals took place in November 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast...Read more
Apr 12, 2016
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several stages to the whale fall ecosystem as different parts of the whale are used up. In the first phase, mobile scavengers such as ratfish, hagfish and sharks smell whale on the water and swim from afar,...Read more
Apr 11, 2016
Credit:

MOm/ A.A. Karamanlidis

Watch a recorded webcast about the latest efforts in Greece to study and save the critically endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused the remaining populations of Mediterranean monk seals ( Monachus monachus ) and Hawaiian monk seals ( Monachus schauinslandi ) to drop to perilously low numbers, while the Caribbean monk seal ( Monachus...Read more
Apr 8, 2016
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

What are corals? Corals themselves are animals. But tropical reef-building corals have tiny plant-like organisms living in their tissue. The corals couldn’t survive without these microscopic algae–called zooxanthellae (zo-zan-THELL-ee). This cutaway diagram of a coral polyp shows where the photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, live—inside the polyp’s tissue. The coral gives the algae a home. In...Read more
Apr 7, 2016
Credit:

Terry Ross (Flickr)

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! They are the most critically endangered sea turtle species in the world, and have inspired international cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico to protect nesting beaches, implement more stringent fishing regulations, and foster...Read more
Apr 6, 2016
Credit:

Scott Kupiec

In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of these blooms is that there is less food for fish and more for bacteria . This is because the large numbers of jellyfish eat zooplankton—potential fish food —but most fish don't eat jellyfish. Instead,...Read more
Apr 5, 2016
Credit:

Dr. Mike Goebel, NOAA NMFS SWFSC

Looking through this iceberg's reflection in the Antarctic water, you can see the iceberg below the surface—some 90% of its total volume. Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice broken off of glaciers or ice shelves, left to float across the sea. Many icebergs and other pieces of floating ice cram together, freezing into pack ice, which is a form of sea ice.Read more
Apr 4, 2016
Credit:

Lophelia II 2010 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEMRE

An orange brisingid starfish sits on a large reef of Lophelia pertusa, cold-water corals in the Gulf of Mexico, at 450 m depth as a school of fish swims above. They have many arms—up to 20!—covered in spines, which themselves are covered with small snapping jaws called pedicellariae. By attaching their center to a surface and waving these long arms in the water, these starfish filter feed,...Read more
Apr 1, 2016
Credit:

D. Ross Robertson and Carole C. Baldwin

By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) have discovered a new species of tiny fish in the biodiversity-rich waters of the southern Caribbean. The fish, a blenny named Haptoclinus dropi , is only around 2 cm in length with a beautiful color pattern that includes iridescence on the fins. Against a white background, it's hard to see the...Read more

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