Today's Catch

Methane Bubbles Up From Seep

Methane gas, trapped deep within the Earth's crust, can slowly leak from cracks in the seafloor known as methane seeps. While we would never consider methane as food, in the deep sea where there is little light or resources, microbes have evolved to...
A close-up photo of dead man's fingers (Alcyonium digitatum), living in the Baltic Sea.

Dead Man’s Fingers

Dead man’s fingers ( Alcyonium digitatum ) are soft corals named for their appendage-like appearance when thrown ashore by storms. The finger-like clumps of coral polyps come in various shades of pink, orange, white, grey, or yellow and are found...
Notice the pink tentacles, which “recliners” used to filter feed.

Recliner Rudists

Where ocean currents were strong, ancient rudist “recliners” lay unattached on the seabed. Notice the pink tentacles, which were used to filter feed. Learn more about ocean life throughout deep time in our Ocean Over Time interactive or an image...
A puffin with a mouthful of fish.

Puffin with a Mouthful of Fish

An Atlantic puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) carries many sandlances ( Ammodytidae ) in its mouth to take back to its hungry chick. Puffins have spiny tongues that, pressed against the roof of their mouths, help to hold ten or more fish at once without...
A reef shark swims amongst corals.

Happy Hearts Love Sharks

For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and formal occasions in China. Recently, it has become clear that shark-fin removal is cruel to sharks and severely damages shark populations. Claudia Li, a passionate Chinese-...
Juvenile plane-head filefish

Juvenile plane-head filefish

Relatively slow moving, juvenile plane-head filefish Monacanthus hispidus (Monacanthidae) travel along with the algae. They pick off and eat small animals as they move around in the rotating sargassum ball. Adult filefish only grow to be about 11...

The Vanishing Vaquita

The small vaquita ( Phocoena sinus ), a type of porpoise, usually only reaches lengths of 5 feet (1.5 meters). They are only found in the Northern part of the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico, and their population size is estimated to be...

Skeleton Shrimp

Skeleton shrimp are amphipods (a type of crustacean related to shrimp and crabs). They have grasping legs to hang onto their surroundings as they sway with the current and use their front claws to grab their food—algae, detritus, and copepods. This...

Johnson's Seagrass

Johnson's seagrass ( Halophila johnsonii ) is the lone ocean plant species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Its flowing green stalks play an important role in coastal ecosystems, where they act as nursery grounds for small larval fish. They...

Short-tailed Albatross

In the 1940s the short-tailed albatross population plummeted from tens of millions to such a small number that they were believed to be extinct. Their decline was due to hunting for their feathers and damage to their breeding islands from volcanic...

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