Today's Catch

Jan 28, 2015

New England Aquarium

Every North Atlantic right whale has a pattern of callosities unique to that individual. This distinctive pattern provides a very visual, convenient tool that researchers can use to tell one individual from another. Learn more about how these callosities are used by researchers in our Tale of a Right Whale .Read more
Jan 27, 2015
What would happen if we let our fear of sharks lead people to kill them all? This is the question Joe Hanson asks in this video from PBS Digital Studios. Find out about how the removal of sharks affects the food web, ecosystem balance, and why sharks are particularly vulnerable to human threats .Read more
Jan 26, 2015

Wikimedia Commons, Pierre-Jules Hetzel

A sea monster attacks a ship in an illustration for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. The illustration is by publisher and artist Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who is most famous for his drawings in Verne's books. This terrifying monster looks a lot like an octopus or squid, which do little harm to people. Read about how author Ray Bradbury encouraged people to sympathize with sea beasts in one...Read more
Jan 23, 2015

In Smithsonian Report 1916

Many sperm whales stranded on beaches or caught by whalers exhibit telltale circular scars like these. Only one thing could have made them: the strong suckers that line the giant squid’s eight arms and two long feeding tentacles. Older sperm whales have so many scars that they overlap each other. Learn more about the over-sized anatomy of the giant squid in this video with Smithsonian scientist...Read more
Jan 22, 2015
Remember playing Tetris? Originally developed in 1984, the video game in which blocks of various shapes rain down and the player needs to find a way to fit them together is now ubiquitous. This TED ED video compares Tetris blocks to carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and reabsorbed by plants and ecosystems as a part of the carbon cycle. But what happens when you can't keep up with...Read more
Jan 21, 2015

Flickr User Mouser NerdBot

These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called foraminifera , which build intricate shells from the calcium carbonate they collect while drifting through the water. Their shells have settled on the seafloor for 500 million years, and are used by...Read more
Jan 20, 2015

Flickr user Jenny Huang (JennyHuang)/EOL

Two bright orange anemonefish ( Amphiprion ocellaris ) poke their heads between anemone tentacles. Anemonefish are able to swim amongst the stinging tentacles without getting stung — but no one knows exactly sure how. One dominant theory explains that they have a protective slime coating their bodies. However, anemonefish are not born with this protective slime and scientists don't know how they...Read more
Jan 15, 2015

Kevin Bryant, Flickr

The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither as rare as a pearl nor as dangerous as a razor. It is a common fish that tends to live in clear shallow areas near seagrass beds and coral reefs, where it collects coral debris to build its nests. However, even having a home may not be enough to put this skittish fish at ease. When startled, the pearly razorfish will...Read more
Jan 13, 2015
Sea turtles face many obstacles throughout their lives—net entanglement, light pollution, mistaking plastic for food—among the many that are caused by humans. Get a glimpse of what goes on behind-the-scenes of a sea turtle hospital in North Carolina that works to rehabilitate sea turtles so they can return to the wild. As the narrator explains, after all the hard work put into working with an...Read more
Jan 12, 2015

Hendrik Schicke, Flickr

When hoping to discover a pearl, looking inside one of the oysters you slurp may not be the best plan. Food oysters in the family Ostreidae are able to produce pearls, however these tend to be small, irregular, and worth very little . Most pearls strung on necklaces come from pearl oysters, which are in a whole different bivalve family! Pearl oysters create pearls when a hard particle is coated...Read more