Today's Catch

Ice Melt at the Poles

It’s confirmed: both Antarctica and Greenland are losing ice —around 350 billion tons each year—and, as a result, sea level has risen 11.1 millimeters worldwide since 1992. This photo shows a summertime channel created by the flow of melted ice,...
A puffin sits on a rock next to a puffin decoy.

Puffin and Decoy

Each summer puffin parents return to their nesting colony and lay a single egg in an underground burrow; once it hatches, they dutifully catch and feed fish to their chick. When the chick is strong enough, it emerges from its burrow, leaves its...
An image of a squid radula from a scanning electron micrograph.

Close-up of Giant Squid’s Radula

This image from a scanning electron micrograph magnifies the tiny teeth that cover the surface of the giant squid’s tongue-like organ, or radula . Seven rows of sharp teeth help direct tiny pieces of food down the squid’s esophagus (only three are...
A leafy seadragon

Leafy Seadragon

The ornate decoration on this leafy seadragon may be beautiful, but it also helps the seadragon blend into the seaweeds where it lives. As a member of the Syngnathidae family along with pipefish and seahorses, it is the male seadragon that carries...

Seagrasses and Light in the Chesapeake Bay

Seagrasses growing on the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay rely on light to grow—but, thanks to pollution, that sunlight has become more scarce. Nutrient runoff from fertilizers causes microscopic algae (phytoplankton) to grow rapidly at the surface...
A "reef hotel" made of PVS layers on the seafloor.

Placing ARMS in the Red Sea

Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's Sant Chair for Marine Science, puts up an Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure (ARMS) during a dive in the Red Sea. These small underwater “condos” have been placed across the world’s oceans—from shallow water to 700...
A photo of zebra mussels clinging together, the mollusks have successfully invaded brackish and freshwater areas across North America.

Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha)

This bivalve mollusk is native to the Caspian Sea, lagoons of the Black Sea, and their inflowing rivers. It lives in fresh and brackish water and cannot tolerate full seawater. In the 18th and 19th centuries, zebra mussels spread through European...
Image of a rapa whelk, a large marine snail retreated into its shell

Rapa Whelk

Rapa whelks , native to Asia, have invaded the Chesapeake Bay and are raising concerns about economic and ecological impacts to the Bay region due to their shellfish diet. Scientists believe that this non-native species reached the Chesapeake by...
Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right.

Bleached Corals, Pacific Ocean

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...
The velvet crab's aggressive nature has earned it the nickname devil's crab.

The Velvet Swimming Crab

Necora puber , also known as the velvet swimming crab, may not be as soft as the name implies. The crab's red eyes and aggressive nature have resulted in a second nickname, devil's crab . As if it weren’t intimidating enough already, Necora puber is...

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