Today's Catch

How a Microscopic Team Alters the Course of Carbon in the Atlantic Ocean

The Amazon river is the largest river in the world. It drains the entire Amazon rainforest, sending leftover nutrients, detritus, and minerals from the South American jungle out into the tropical Atlantic Ocean. This runoff forms a freshwater plume...
A Turtle Excluder Device (TED) enables a loggerhead turtle to escape from a net.

Loggerhead Escapes from Fishing Net

One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) pictured here, is being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. Trapped in a net, the turtles are dragged through the water with no access to the...
Algae or "seaweeds" (left) differ from seagrasses (right) in several ways.

Algae vs Seagrass

Algae or "seaweeds" (left) differ from seagrasses (right) in several ways. Algae on the seafloor have a holdfast and transport nutrients through the body by diffusion, while seagrasses are flowering vascular plants with roots and an internal...
The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish has a glowing tip that may attract prey.

Scaly Dragonfish

The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing tip that may attract prey. With its large mouth and sharp, curved teeth, the fish makes quick work of any prey that venture too close. Scaly dragonfish live at depths of...
Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing two archaeocetes (ancient whales): Ocucajea picklingi and Supayacetus muizon.

Eocene Whales and Penguins Off the Coast of Peru

Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi , unnamed protocetid, Ocucajea picklingi , and Supayacetus...
A brightly colored parrotfish swims over a field of seagrass.

Parrots of the Sea

Parrotfish like this ‘rainbow parrotfish” ( Scarus guacamaia ) play a critical ecological role in coral reef ecosystems. Herbivores, parrotfish feed on macroalgae that can otherwise smother corals directly or reduce coral growth and fish survival....
A white crab hides among coral polyps of the same color.

White Xenia Crab from Indonesia

“Lembeh Strait is a fantastic place to find species that have evolved to resemble other animals or plants to survive. Because of the lens I was using, I had to get really close to this crab. As I moved in, it retreated into the xenia coral polyps....

The Trouvadore: A Story of Deliverance

Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path to freedom.
Like a cake, the ocean has different layers—each with its own characteristics.

Ocean Layers

Like a cake, the ocean has different layers—each with its own characteristics. (No icing, though.) The surface layer receives the most sunlight, allowing photosynthetic organisms like phytoplankton to convert sunlight to energy. The twilight zone...
A red deep-sea fish specimen.

A Fish that Looks Like a Whale

This deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body, a gaping mouth, no fins or scales and a deep lateral line, which detects vibrations in the water. The first specimens were discovered by two Smithsonian scientists in fish...

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