Today's Catch

Jul 22, 2013
Credit:

Wolcott Henry

Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide it with food. Corals can recover from bleaching if there is time and space for healthy tissues to regrow, but too often other factors such as pollution or fast-growing seaweeds smother their chances...Read more
Jul 19, 2013
Credit:

Henrique Nascimento, Flickr

Necora puber , also known as the velvet swimming crab, may not be as soft as the name implies. The crab's red eyes and aggressive nature have resulted in a second nickname, devil's crab . As if it weren’t intimidating enough already, Necora puber is also the largest swimming crab found off of Britain’s coast. However not everyone is scared. Scotland has increased the capture of the red-eyed crab...Read more
Jul 18, 2013
Credit:

© BBC

When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral gardeners. Fiji's coral gardeners, who are fishermen trained by biologists, collect small corals that are struggling to grow because they have little space, and bring them to a raised platform that...Read more
Jul 17, 2013
Credit:

NSF and NOAA

A volcanic eruption of superheated magma (some 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit) from the West Mata Volcano produces a bright flash of hot magma that is blown up into the water before settling back to the seafloor. The explosion throws ash and rock into the water, and molten lava glows below. This volcano is in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. Its top is nearly a mile below the ocean surface (1165 meters /...Read more
Jul 16, 2013
Credit:

Courtesy of the New England Aquarium

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but scientists estimate that fewer than 450 remain. In the past, they were hunted for their oil and baleen; now they get tangled up in fishing lines, which weaken and eventually kill them. Watch a video about entanglement from WHOI, meet a right whale named Phoenix, and learn more about their biology and why so few remain.Read more
Jul 15, 2013
Credit:

R. G. Gilmore (left) and NURC/UNCW

The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but trawling has devastated the one at bottom. When fishermen trawl, they drag a net along the seafloor, destroying everything in its path. Only about 10 percent of Oculina habitat remains intact. Learn more about vulnerable deep-sea corals .Read more
Jul 12, 2013
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos she took of animals in the open ocean making their own light, called bioluminescence, and explains many reasons why they do so. Some predatory fish have glowing lures dangling in front of their mouths...Read more
Jul 11, 2013
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon , a resident of Maryland. The artist showcased his craft for visitors at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History during a May 2011 event in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month . Kwon works on scales small and large; one of his brushes is some four feet tall and he's created one...Read more
Jul 10, 2013
Credit:

Barry Brown/Substation Curacao

When this tusk shell was brought up from the deep reef, it was a surprise when a hermit crab poked out! Notice the hermit crab's large claw that it can use to tightly cover the shell opening when it retracts into the shell. Dr. Rafael Lemaitre, NMNH curator of decapod Crustacea , has identified this hermit crab as Pylopagurus discoidalis . In the past, deep-sea animals like this one could only be...Read more
Jul 9, 2013
Credit:

Art Howard

Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so must do all of their observing and collecting using monitors and joysticks from land. This NOAA expedition to study deep-sea corals took place in November 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast...Read more

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