Today's Catch

Aug 7, 2015

Pamela Hallock/University of South Florida

In this photo of a shallow coral reef in the Pacific there are three species of forams . On the left, Peneroplis planatus . In the center, Amphistegina lessonii . And on the right, Laevipeneroplis sp. Their colors come from the symbiotic algae that live inside the foram shells. Just like corals, these forams are subject to bleaching when ocean temperatures get high enough to kill off the colorful...Read more
Aug 6, 2015

David Henshaw

"A juvenile California sea lion performing close to the camera. The speed and elegance of these creatures is really unmatched in the oceans," wrote David Henshaw of his image , a winning selection in the Portraits of Planet Ocean Flickr contest . California sea lions ( Zalophus californianus ) are social animals, forming groups of hundreds to thousands of animals that gather onshore to breed...Read more
Aug 4, 2015

Zhifei Zhang et al.Link

For a long time, scientists thought that some small tentacled fossils were early ancestors of jellyfish. But a new study has found that these ancient animals are actually related to an entirely different group of animals : the entoprocts, which are still alive today. The new fossil ( Cotyledion tylodes ) lived during the Cambrian period (around 520 million years ago), along with the ancestors of...Read more
Aug 3, 2015

Hans Hillewaert

This swimming crab ( Liocarcinus holsatus ) has a parasitic barnacle rooted in its reproductive system. This invasion cuts off all reproduction for an infected crab and can even cause a male crab to change behavior — males don't normally take care of crab eggs, but the infected male will take care of the barnacle as if it is a brood of eggs. Read more about other parasites that you can find in...Read more
Jul 31, 2015

Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Museum of Nature and Science of Japan/AP

In 2006, this female giant squid attacked bait suspended beneath a Japanese research vessel off the coast of Japan in the Ogasawara Islands . This screenshot resulted when the research team pulled the 7-meter (24-foot) squid to the surface and videotaped her . It was the first time a giant squid was filmed alive. In 2012, researchers were able to capture video of a living giant squid in its...Read more
Jul 30, 2015

Hans Hillewaert

The whitish spots on this fish are individual parasitic trematode worms. Trematodes have complicated life cycles that usually involve multiple hosts -- often starting in a snail and then moving on to other hosts, such as fish, birds, and mammals (including humans). They may have even lived in dinosaurs ! Read more about parasites in marine organisms .Read more
Jul 29, 2015

© 2007 MBARI

Talk about an investment! This octopus mom protected her brood of about 160 eggs for 4.5 years for the longest ever recorded brooding time of any animal. She was first observed by scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) when they did a routine survey of deep-sea animals off the California coast in May 2007. Each time the scientists surveyed the site over the next four...Read more
Jul 28, 2015

Wikimedia User “Fisherman”

Buyers examine tuna lining the floor of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. Ounce per ounce, tuna is one of the most valuable varieties of seafood. In 2012, a single 593lb bluefin tuna sold for $736,000 in a Japanese market. Not surprisingly, populations of bluefin tunas have declined to very low levels, and the species is listed as endangered .Read more
Jul 27, 2015

Hidden Ocean 2005, NOAA

In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole” because it looks like a tadpole) drifts through the water in its 'house.' This house is made of protein and creates almost a shell around the larvacean and helps to filter particles out of the water for the larvacean to eat. And when the filters get clogged, the plankter can just shed the 'house' and build itself a new...Read more
Jul 24, 2015

Erwin Poliakoff

A tornado of sardines swirls around diver and photographer Erwin Poliakoff in the Philippines. Sardines are small fish that gather in large schools, a behavior that defends them against predators. As they travel across oceans and up coastlines to feed on plankton, they serve as a nutrient-rich food source for many larger animals like seabirds, sea lions, whales and other species. Because they are...Read more