Today's Catch

Mar 3, 2014
Credit:

Mark Rosenstein, Flickr

The toothy goby or common ghost goby ( Pleurosicya mossambica ) lives among soft corals and sponges in the Indo-Pacific ocean. The relationship it has with its host is commensal , which means the goby benefits from the protection and habitat in the corals, but the coral doesn't get hurt or benefit from the relationship. Many of the other 2000 or so species of gobies form such symbiotic...Read more
Feb 28, 2014
Credit:

Chuck Savall

Munch, munch. The queen parrotfish ( Scarus vetula ) scrapes algae from Caribbean coral reefs with its parrot-like beak. While feeding, hard stone and coral inevitably get mixed into its lunch, which in turn gets ground up by the fish and deposited back into the ecosystem as sand. This fish is an adult male. But when young, parrotfish have the ability to change sex, depending on the population’s...Read more
Feb 26, 2014
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

Researchers with the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) collected this sea toad, Chaunax pictus , off the coast of Honduras in 2011. The team is trying to collect sea toads from around the Caribbean to better understand the group's genetic diversity and distribution. You can see videos and read about the DROP team's other explorations on the " Summer in a Sub " blog series.Read more
Feb 25, 2014
Credit:

Courtesy of Ian Joughlin

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, which ultimately carries the water away from the glacier to the sea. It's not easy to measure melting ice. But by using data from 10 satellite missions,...Read more
Feb 24, 2014
Credit:

Hans Hillewaert, WoRMS for SMEBD

Like other cephalopods, the common cuttlefish ( Sepia officials ) is no dummy. But while octopuses are quick to learn manual tasks like opening jars, cuttlefish have a different skillset: the social. Unlike other cephalopod species, cuttlefish are very social and interact with each other frequently, like humans, and have sophisticated communication ability. Read more about cephalopod intelligence...Read more
Feb 21, 2014
Credit:

NOAA, Alaska Fisheries Science Center

The ghoulish “blob sculpin” ( Psychrolutes phrictus ) , a deepwater fish found off the Pacific coast of the U.S. from the Bering Sea to Southern California, can grow to about 70 cm (more than two feet) in length and eats small invertebrates. See more bizarre-looking ocean life in a slideshow of the scariest monsters of the deep-sea and learn more about the deep ocean in the Deep Ocean Exploration...Read more
Feb 20, 2014
Credit:

Wolcott Henry

This guineafowl moray ( Gymnothorax meleagris ) is one of about 200 species of moray eels found in tropical and subtropical coral reefs . Moray eels are a type of bony fish. Many species, like this one with a brown body and white spots similar to a guineafowl, are named after their distinct appearances.Read more
Feb 19, 2014
Credit:

Sandra J. Raredon / Smithsonian Institution

An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are encased in thin, transparent bony plates attached to their spines, which you can see in the X-ray. Also known as shrimpfish, razorfish have a unique swimming style: they keep their bodies vertical (heads down, tails up) while propelling themselves forward in schools. Note that the back of the fish is bony and nearly...Read more
Feb 18, 2014
Credit:

Robert L. Pitman, NOAA Fisheries, USA

Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) have something in common with humans: early menopause. Read Smithsonian marine scientist Nancy Knowlton's blog post to find out more.Read more
Feb 14, 2014
Credit:

Bettina Balnis/Guylian Seahorses of the World 2010, Courtesy Project Seahorse

Most wild seahorses (here the thorny seahorse Hippocampus histrix ) are monogamous and some species mate for life. Searching for mates can be difficult and risky since seahorses are poor swimmers, found in low densities and rely on camouflage to hide from predators. By remaining faithful to one partner, the pairs have more time to undergo more pregnancies during a single mating season and,...Read more

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