Today's Catch

Apr 8, 2014
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NOAA/OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)

A beroid ctenophore lunges toward prey with its mouth wide open. Beroid comb jellies don't have tentacles to catch prey: instead, they can open their mouths and snap them shut tight to trap prey inside. And one of their main prey items is other jellies—one species ( Beroe cucumis ) feeds exclusively on them !Read more
Apr 7, 2014
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Jérôme Petit, Moorea Biocode Project

Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in their quest to collect one of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. In the background is Mt. Rotui—the Tahitian word for octopus. More about the Island of Moorea can be found in our Scientists catalog life on the Island of Moorea featured story.Read more
Apr 4, 2014
Credit:

Jiro Sakaue

The Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) has an evolutionary history that dates back some 200 million years . Because of this and the fact that it has retained some primitive features, scientists are recognizing it as a 'living fossil.' A Japanese research diver, Jiro Sakaue, found the first specimen in February 2009, in a cave of a reef near the Republic of Palau. After extensive...Read more
Apr 3, 2014
Credit:

Flickr User Critidoc

This bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are near by gathering tightly together in a ball-like formation that exposes the least number of fish. Fish species found in the open ocean are especially in need of some protection, as they don't have the cracks and crevices that fish in coastal or coral reef habitats have to hide away. Instead, they hide behind one another to...Read more
Apr 2, 2014
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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
Apr 1, 2014
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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
Mar 31, 2014
Credit:

© David Shale

This tiny, shrimplike creature is no more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long, but it’s as ferocious as a shark. Its giant eyes spot prey. Huge claws grab the prey, and a tiny mouth rips it to shreds. The prey never sees what’s coming, because Phronima’s transparent body blends into the surrounding water. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
Mar 28, 2014
Credit:

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
Mar 27, 2014
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Bob Nicholls/Bristol University

Today, filter feeders like clams, sponges, krill, baleen whales, fishes, and many others fill the ocean, spending their days filtering and eating tiny particles from the water. But when did the first filter feeder evolve? The first known filter feeder is a large shrimp-like creature called Tamisiocaris borealis . This species is an anomalocarid, a group of early marine animals from the Cambrian...Read more
Mar 26, 2014
Credit:

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

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