Today's Catch

Oct 28, 2013
Credit:

© 2010 Moorea Biocode

Syllid fireworms are a part of the Syllidae family , which is a type of polychaete worm. Usually these small worms, not getting much bigger than 13 cm, live on the ocean floor. But when the worms mate, they move from their home on the sea bottom to the surface of the water and swim around in small circles. The females use bioluminescence to attract the males during this ritual that occurs around...Read more
Oct 25, 2013
Credit:

NIWA, New Zealand/CenSeam, Census of Marine Life

A huge colony of brittlestars (likely Ophiacantha rosea ) covers the peak of a seamount in the deep ocean. What’s the attraction? Food! Their arms reach out for tiny food particles carried by the swift Antarctic Circumpolar Current. More about the deep ocean can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
Oct 24, 2013
Credit:

R. Hopcroft, UAF, Hidden Ocean 2005 NOAA.

This copepod Calanus hyperboreus (up to 7mm in length) lives in the Arctic , usually within 500 meters of the surface. To survive the cold Arctic winters, Calanus hyperboreus builds up dense fat (lipid) supplies on its body, which makes it a preferred food of both ctenophores and bowhead whales.Read more
Oct 23, 2013
Credit:

Jeffrey de Guzman/Nature’s Best Photography

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 not the only example—of tool use in invertebrates. Here, the octopus sits inside a vacant bivalve shell. “This octopus displays tool-using behavior as...Read more
Oct 21, 2013
Credit:

© Brian Skerry, www.brianskerry.com

Two California market squids ( Loligo opalescens ) mate in the waters off of California's Channel Islands. While spawning, the male's arms blush red as he embraces the female, a warning to other competing males to back-off. Find out how and why squids and other cephalopods change color .Read more
Oct 18, 2013
Credit:

David Clark

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 Station in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. No longer plentiful, the Galapagos tortoise is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List for...Read more
Oct 17, 2013
Credit:

Image Courtesy Edie Widder

Under white light, this shortnose greeneye fish ( Chlorophthalmus agassizi ) looks unimpressive. But, in dim blue light—the type usually seen at depth—it shows its true fluorescent colors. NOAA scientists collected this specimen during a 2004 expedition for optical studies . The scientists believe the green flouresence of the fish’s eye lenses help it detect prey better in dimly lit water...Read more
Oct 16, 2013
Credit:

K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA

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.Read more
Oct 15, 2013
Credit:

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
Oct 11, 2013
Credit:

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

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