Today's Catch

Counting the Ocean's Diversity

How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a feel for the ocean's diversity, scientists, such as those involved in the Census of Marine Life , sail out on research cruises to collect and count as many animals as they...

Wetlands to the Horizon

The grasses and animals living in marshes help to filter water and stabilize shorelines, along with providing habitat for a variety of mammals, fish, shellfish and amphibians and a haven for migratory waterfowl. Along with supporting rich ecosystems...
A school of akule (Hawaiian for bigeye scad) explode into a camera's frame.

Akule Explosion

A school of akule (Hawaiian for bigeye scad) explode into a camera's frame. Wayne Levin followed schools of akule for several years, photographing them and exploring how their group dynamics changed over time. Read more in his blog.
A Pontoh pygmy seahorse

How Many Seahorse Species?

There are 47 different species of seahorses and 14 of those were discovered in the last eight years, including Pontoh's pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus pontohi ), which was officially named in 2008. Seahorses’ ability to change their color and shape to...

Slow Life: Time-Lapse on the Coral Reef

How does a coral spend its day? Most of us would say: not doing much. To the human eye, a coral looks relatively still, waiting in the current and hoping some food will run into its tentacles. But this video "Slow Life" by marine scientist Daniel...
Zombie worm eats whale bones in Japan's Sagami Bay

Zombie Worms Eating Whale Bone

Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that has fallen to the seafloor in Sagami Bay, Japan. These bizarre worms rely on whale bones for energy and are what scientists call “sexually dimorphic”—the male and female forms...
Venomous Box Jelly from South Carolina

Venomous Box Jellyfish from South Carolina

This venomous box jelly ( Chiropsalmus quadrumanus ) was collected off the coast of South Carolina. The specimen now resides in the Smithsonian’s marine collection . Its venomous sting can be lethal, especially to small children. Listen to Podcast...
The currents of the North Pacific gyre collect trash—mostly bits of microscopic plastic—into what are known as "garbage patches."

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the western US, and north-south...

Animals of the Ice

Watch animals of the ice run, swim, slide, waddle, and fly. Polar bears, penguins, seals, fish, krill and birds, all live on or under the ice. How they survive in the harsh extremes of the polar regions is amazing. Today, because of a warming planet...
A gang of king penguins.

King Penguins, Right Whale Beach, South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean

There are over 30 colonies of king penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) on South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The penguins capture their prey, typically lanternfish, by diving at speeds of 12 miles per hour. “This photo was taken...

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