Today's Catch

Dec 4, 2014
Credit:

Edy Setyawan

The whale shark ( Rhincodon typus ) is the largest fish on Earth. They spend most of their lives in the deep water up to 200 meters or more, but swim up to the surface to gather food and warm their bodies. In Kwatisore—located in Cenderawasih Bay National Park, Papua, Indonesia—they interact with bagans ( fishing platforms on the water's surface ), which provide ikan puri (anchovy), a staple in...Read more
Dec 3, 2014
Credit:

Erwin Poliakoff, Flickr

Frogfish are skilled hunters and some species are capable of blending into local environments such as coral reefs . A frogfish can camouflage itself so well that prey fish will swim close by without seeing the predator lurking before them. Then, before the prey knows it, he’s eaten in about 6 milliseconds! The frogfish is an eating machine with a mouth cavity that can grow up to 12 times its size...Read more
Dec 3, 2014
Credit:

wildestanimal, Flickr

Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for walruses, who tend to be sociable animals. Their groups can range from tens to thousands. Each individual herd has a dominant male who is established by his aggressiveness, tusk size and physical size. Though due to the competitiveness for dominance, the social structure always remains on thin ice.Read more
Dec 1, 2014
Credit:

Paul Flandinette, Flickr

Anemone porcelain crabs may look delicate but they have their own sort of armor: a hard exoskeleton. They live under rocks, sponges, groups of feather stars, and even in giant anemones where they can hide inside the tentacles. Once inside they do not have to worry about gathering food since they are mainly filter feeders . Anemone porcelain crabs are also masters of escape and, if attacked, can...Read more
Nov 26, 2014
Credit:

Chuck Savall

The spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the Atlantic coast. The native Pacific fish probably escaped from an aquarium. Lionfish are aggressive predators and threaten local species. They are also referred to as turkeyfish because depending on...Read more
Nov 25, 2014
Credit:

I. MacDonald (in Gulf of Mexico–Origin, Waters, and Biota. Vol. 1. Biodiversity. Felder, D. L. and Camp, D. K. (eds.) 2009. Texas A&M Press.

Like its terrestrial namesake, the Venus fly-trap anemone ( Actinoscyphia sp.) sits quietly and waits for food to drift into its outstretched tentacles, which are lined with stinging harpoons called nematocysts. Of course, this is how most anemones behave; this one just happens to look a like like the Venus fly-trap plant! They are deep-sea animals; this one was photographed at roughly 4,900 feet...Read more
Nov 24, 2014
Credit:

© 2004 Smithsonian Institution

An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the southern coast of the United States and the northern coasts of South America and Mexico. They are considered "Vulnerable" by the IUCN Red List , having undergone a population decline of 30% over the last...Read more
Nov 21, 2014
Credit:

Laurence Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/CMarZ, Census of Marine Life

Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea cucumber ( Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,750 meters depth. It creeps forward on its tentacles pretty slowly, at around 2 centimeters per minute, while sweeping detritus-rich sediment into its mouth. It's so transparent that you can even see its digestive tract winding through its body! See more cool...Read more
Nov 20, 2014
Credit:

Wolcott Henry

Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide it with food. Corals can recover from bleaching if there is time and space for healthy tissues to regrow, but too often other factors such as pollution or fast-growing seaweeds smother their chances...Read more
Nov 19, 2014
Credit:

NOAA

Bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) are very social animals, and often travel and hunt in groups called pods. The most common is a nursery group of 5-20 dolphins made up of females and their calves—although occasionally they will gather in groups (with males) of 1,000 or more. They often hunt together, and learn different tricks for catching food from one another (such as using sponges to...Read more

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