Today's Catch

Apr 21, 2015
Credit:

Lori Morris, St. Johns River Water Management District

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 are also food for the endangered West Indian manatee and green sea turtle. See more endangered ocean species in our slideshow .Read more
Apr 20, 2015
Credit:

© Brian Skerry, www.brianskerry.com

A male great hammerhead shark swims in the Bahamas at sunset. Scientists debate the purpose behind these sharks' hammer-shaped heads. A commonly accepted theory is that the shape allows the shark to scan a wider area of the ocean through its sensory organs . Of the eight species of hammerheads, the great hammerhead shark ( Sphyrna mokarran ) is the largest, reaching a maximum length of 20 feet...Read more
Apr 17, 2015
Credit:

© David Shale

This aptly named fish ( Anoplogaster cornuta ) has long, menacing fangs, but the adult fish is small, reaching only about 6 inches (17 cm) in length. It's teeth are the largest in the ocean in proportion to body size, and are so long that the fangtooth has an adaptation so that it can close its mouth! Special pouches on the roof of its mouth prevent the teeth from piercing the fish's brain when...Read more
Apr 16, 2015
Credit:

Amanda Feuerstein

Is it lights out for corals once they have experienced a bleaching event? Not necessarily. This photo shows a coral reef near Bocas del Toro, Panama that is in the process of recovering from a mass bleaching event that occurred in the summer of 2010. The tops contain some bleaching, but the sides look healthy. Warm waters had caused the corals to lose their zooxanthellae, the single-celled algae...Read more
Apr 15, 2015
Credit:

Mary Elizabeth Miller, Dauphin Island Sea Lab

A “pink meanie” jellyfish ( Drymonema larsoni )—a species found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean—feeds on a moon jelly ( Aurelia ). Dr. Keith Bayha from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Dr. Michael Dawson from the University of California, Merced recently discovered that the pink meanie represents not only a new species, but an entirely new family of jellyfish. Learn more about jellyfish...Read more
Apr 13, 2015
Credit:

Eliott Norse, Marine Conservation Biology Institute/Marine Photobank

Bycatch, or accidentally caught species, can make up a very high percentage of the haul in shrimp trawl nets. However, some of these “trash” species are now being used, rather than discarded, and new technologies can reduce the catch of non-target species. Learn more in our featured story about Sustainable Seafood .Read more
Apr 10, 2015
Credit:

I. MacDonald (in Gulf of Mexico–Origins, Waters, and Biota. Vol. 1. Biodiversity. Felder, D. L. and Camp, D. K. (eds.) 2009. Texas A&M Press.)

This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered during the Census of Marine Life .Read more
Apr 9, 2015
Credit:

Albert Kok

Staghorn (seen here) and elkhorn corals are listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Specis Act, as their numbers have fallen catastrophically due to disease. Listed in 2006, they were the only coral species under protection until 2014, when 20 other coral species were listed as threatened for a total of 22 species. Both staghorn and elkhorn coral are found in Caribbean waters and reproduce...Read more
Apr 8, 2015
Credit:

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

The Island Leaf-Toed Gecko ( Phyllodactylus insularis ) is one of several species of geckos that live in the mangroves of the Caribbean’s Mangal Cay. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves overview .Read more
Apr 7, 2015
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

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