Today's Catch

A photo of a candy basslet, an orange and yellow-striped fish.

Candy Basslet

A candy basslet ( Liopropoma carmabi ) was one of the specimens Smithsonian scientists collected from the deep reefs of Curaçao on a 2011 research trip in the southern Caribbean. Learn more about the scientists' research on the Summer in Sub Blog
Veined Octopus at Anilao Batangas Pier, Philippines

Veined Octopus at Anilao Batangas Pier, Philippines

The veined octopus ( Amphioctopus marginatus ), also known as the coconut octopus, has a skill beyond other cephalopods: it hides under animal and coconut shells, dragging them along the seafloor for protection. This is one of the few examples—if...
A zoomed-in image of the crown-of-thorns sea star.

Acanthaster planci

Scientists have been studying why populations of crown-of-thorns sea stars ( Acanthaster planci ) have mushroomed in recent decades. Coral reefs can suffer when the sea star's numbers explode because the echinoderm has a healthy appetite and few...
A Galapagos tortoise munches on some greens.

Galapagos Tortoise

On the Galapagos Islands, William Dampier wrote excitedly of the giant tortoises he encountered: “I do believe there is no place in the world that is so plentifully stored with these animals….” This photo was taken at the Charles Darwin Research...
Chrysaora melanaster is a jellyfish found in the Arctic.

Arctic Sea Jelly

Chrysaora melanaster , one of the largest jellyfish commonly found in the Arctic, swims underneath the Arctic ice . Its tentacles can stretch to more than 3 meters long and pack a mean sting for humans.

The Oil Spill From Above

In this view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from above in June 2010, you can see bright orange oil floating on the ocean's surface on the left and, on the right, a thin layer of oil reflects the colors of the rainbow. However, there is more...

Sea Monster Attack

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...
Pearl oysters create pearls when a hard particle is coated with calcium carbonate (nacre) after entering the oyster.

Pearls of Wisdom

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...

Cashes Ledge

Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast, which is home to a great diversity of life. Because the rocky and steep peaks almost reach the surface in some areas, it is dangerous for fishermen. As such, they avoided it,...
The Eastern cleaner clingfish cleans parasites off of larger fish.

The Eastern Cleaner Clingfish

The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy. To do their job, Eastern cleaner-clingfish move...