Today's Catch

Jan 5, 2015
Credit:

United States Department of Defense

On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed "Castle Bravo," the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area. Smithsonian scientists...Read more
Jan 2, 2015
Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast, which is home to a great diversity of life. Because the rocky and steep peaks almost reach the surface in some areas, it is dangerous for fishermen. As such, they avoided it, and the area became a de facto protected area until 2002, when it was officially closed to fishing by regional managers. Read more about the diversity...Read more
Dec 29, 2014
Credit:

Flickr User Michael Bentley

No two snowflakes are alike. Every snowflake is beautiful in its own way. But this one’s a bit scary. The snowflake moray eel ( Echidna nebulosa ) has white, black and yellow splotches all over its body, which come together to look like snowflake designs. Moray eels eat their prey in a unique way – with two jaws. The second set of jaws is in their throat, which shoots up and grabs the prey from...Read more
Dec 24, 2014
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Flickr user Laszlo Ilyes

The festive Christmas tree worm ( Spirobranchus giganteus ) lives on tropical coral reefs and resembles a fluffy fir tree adorned with ornaments. The multi-functional branch-like appendages are used by the worm to breathe and to catch meals of plankton floating by. See more holiday-themed animals !Read more
Dec 23, 2014
Credit:

Neptune Canada

As we dive deeper into winter in the northern hemisphere, the possibility of snow becomes an increasingly frequent topic of conversation. But did you know that the ocean gets a regular dose of ‘marine snow’ year round? The flakes in the ocean are made up of poop from animals, decaying animals and other types of organic matter that slowly make their way to the seafloor—if they aren’t eaten along...Read more
Dec 22, 2014
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Flickr User Len Burgess

The jingle shell ( Anomia simplex ) is a common bivalve found on the Atlantic coast of North America, amongst the more commonly known clams and oysters. As with oysters, the lower shell is glued to a hard surface. Even after the mollusk is dead, the shell keeps its beautiful and shiny exterior. The thin, translucent shells are often used in jewelry, and when strung together can sound like bells,...Read more
Dec 19, 2014
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Flickr User Sushi_Girl1995

These candy cane snapping shrimp ( Alpheus randalli ) have a pretty nice set up. They share their living space with goby fish, helping the fish dig and maintain the burrow that they share in the seafloor. In turn the small, and mostly blind, shrimp (seen in this photo below the goby) get protection from predators in the form of alerts from the goby and a place to call home.Read more
Dec 17, 2014
Credit:

Jennifer Strotman, Collections Program

I want snack, so give me cookie! The cookie cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis ) is as fearless as they come! This small, 20-inch shark can take on giants like whales and larger sharks, and have even been known to mistakenly try to bite submarines. They dwell in the deep warm ocean and come closer to the surface as the sun sets to grab a quick snack off their unsuspecting prey. Cookie cutter...Read more
Dec 16, 2014
Credit:

Copyright © Alexander Semenov

This is a tree topper unlike any other! Reminiscent of a freshly made snow angel, these pteropods are actually shell-less sea snails ( Clione limacina ). Unlike the typical snail, they flap their adapted foot ‘wings’ to get around in the water column. They are extremely small, with the largest species reaching only 5 centimeters long. Sea angels' mostly eat their relatives, the sea butterflies ,...Read more
Dec 15, 2014
Cabo Pulmo is the northernmost coral reef in the eastern Pacific, and, at around 20,000 years old, it may be the oldest and most important reef in the American Pacific. The preservation of Cabo Pulmo is a local, national, and international success story. After decades of intense fishing had depleted Cabo Pulmo’s marine life, the local communities secured protected status for the reef from the...Read more

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