Today's Catch

Jan 9, 2014
Credit:

Graham Saunders, Flickr

A colony of 100 million flame shells ( Limaria hians ) was discovered in Scotland in 2012 , and is thought to be the biggest in the world. Flame shells are bivalve mollusks that are shaped a bit like scallops—but they have bright orange tentacles exuding from their shells. Despite their bright color, flame shells are very hard to spot because they hide in self-constructed felt-like nests. They...Read more
Jan 8, 2014
Watch as barnacles feed on bioluminescent dinoflagellates. Barnacles are crustaceans (like crabs, shrimps and lobsters) that secrete their shells for protection while living attached to things like rocks, harbors or boat hulls. They feed by reaching their feathery feet out of their shells and grabbing for small plankton. In this video from COSEE Florida and the Ocean Research & Conservation...Read more
Jan 7, 2014
Credit:

(c) Alexander Semenov

Brachiopods are an ancient group of organisms, at least 600 millions years old. They might just look like clams, but they are not even closely related. Instead of being horizontally symmetrical along their hinge, like clams and other bivalves, they are vertically symmetrical, cut down the middle of their shell. While they may all look the same to us, during the Paleozoic era (roughly 250-500...Read more
Jan 6, 2014
In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, what is the effect of oil on invertebrates like jellyfish, clams, crabs, sea stars, and plankton? The scope of the damage is more easily observed among birds and large animals, but Dr. Chris Mah, an invertebrate zoologist at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, suggests that what we don’t see may be more widespread and devastating. To learn...Read more
Jan 3, 2014
Credit:

Encyclopedia of Life

Simon Coppard, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and an Encyclopedia of Life Rubenstein Fellow specializing in echinoids often uncovers new species during his research. In 2006, he and a fellow scientist discovered and described Coelopleurus exquisitus , a previously unknown sea urchin species from New Caledonia in the South Pacific.Read more
Dec 31, 2013
Credit:

Yeang H. Ch’ng/Nature’s Best Photography

“A four-foot-long barracuda is visible flashing past me, with the sky and the lights of my boat seen above.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Yeang H. Ch’ng. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from the 2010 Nature's Best Ocean Views photo contest.Read more
Dec 27, 2013
Credit:

© Glenn Loates

An adult giant squid struggles for survival in an encounter with a sperm whale - its only known predator. The whale will probably overpower and eat the squid. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid section .Read more
Dec 26, 2013
Credit:

Neptune Canada

As we dive deeper into winter in the northern hemisphere, the possibility of snow becomes an increasingly frequent topic of conversation. But did you know that the ocean gets a regular dose of ‘marine snow’ year round? The flakes in the ocean are made up of poop from animals, decaying animals and other types of organic matter that slowly make their way to the seafloor—if they aren’t eaten along...Read more
Dec 24, 2013
Credit:

Copyright © Alexander Semenov

This is a tree topper unlike any other! Reminiscent of a freshly made snow angel, these pteropods are actually shell-less sea snails ( Clione limacina ). Unlike the typical snail, they flap their adapted foot ‘wings’ to get around in the water column. They are extremely small, with the largest species reaching only 5 centimeters long. Sea angels' mostly eat their relatives, the sea butterflies ,...Read more
Dec 23, 2013
Credit:

Joseph Poupin, Institut de Recherche de l'Ecole Naval

Ghost crabs are often seen scuttling quickly along beaches at night, when they emerge from their burrows to feed, and can be difficult to photograph in the wild. They are common in Moorea, an island in the Pacific Ocean, where this specimen was collected. More about the Moorea can be found in the article "Scientists Catalog Life on the Island of Moorea . "Read more

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