Today's Catch

Jan 11, 2016
Credit:

Steve Gould/Nature's Best Photography

There are over 30 colonies of king penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) on South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The penguins capture their prey, typically lanternfish, by diving at speeds of 12 miles per hour. “This photo was taken the first evening of six that I spent at South Georgia Island. It captures a group of penguins on their way to the ocean to feed. As they approached, I...Read more
Jan 8, 2016
Credit:

Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. Image taken under NOAA NMHSRP permit #932-1489, with the authority of the US Endangered Species Act Inset: Smithsonian Institution

This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and often distressed) whale, working with ropes pulled very tight and sharp blades. Special teams of experts around the world are trained in the necessary procedures to help free these beautiful giants...Read more
Jan 7, 2016
When you look underwater, what is making the seagrass wave in the water? The answer is ocean currents . Ocean currents are continuous movements of water in the ocean that follow set paths, kind of like rivers in the ocean. They can be at the water's surface or go to the deep sea; some are very large, like Japan's Kuroshio Current, which is equal in volume to 6,000 large rivers, while others are...Read more
Jan 6, 2016
Credit:

Joel Butnick, Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005. Courtesy of Project Seahorse

Seahorses are hitchhikers. They can travel long distances across the ocean—farther than they can swim—by attaching themselves to floating seaweed and debris. Read 10 more facts you never knew about seahorses .Read more
Jan 5, 2016
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

Starksia blennies, small fish with elongated bodies, generally native to shallow to moderately deep rock and coral reefs in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. It would have been reasonable to assume that there was little about the group left to discover. Using modern genetic analysis combined with traditional examination of morphology...Read more
Jan 4, 2016
Credit:Ernst Stewart
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. S he’s been diving with sharks since the age of twelve. Here she is feeding a group of Caribbean reef sharks. Now 20, Madison has made it her life’s mission to safeguard the creatures and the reefs she loves. Read more in her blog post.Read more
Dec 30, 2015
Credit:

Flickr user PacificKlaus

Like other sea snakes , the turtle-headed sea snake ( Emydocephalus annulatus ) has fangs and venom. But its venom is weak so, instead of defending with a bite, the species tends to react to danger by swimming back to a crack or crevice to hide. For food, the sea snake sneaks around coral reefs looking for fish eggs attached to coral or rocks. It then uses a large tooth-like scale on each side of...Read more
Dec 28, 2015
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

Like this ctenophore ( Aulococtena acuminata ), many animals that live in the midwater zone are red—making them almost invisible in the dim blue light that filters down from the sea surface. This small comb jelly snares prey with its two short tentacles. Read m ore about the deep sea and comb jellies .Read more
Dec 23, 2015
Credit:

Flickr User Sushi_Girl1995

These candy cane snapping shrimp ( Alpheus randalli ) have a pretty nice set up. They share their living space with goby fish, helping the fish dig and maintain the burrow that they share in the seafloor. In turn the small, and mostly blind, shrimp (seen in this photo below the goby) get protection from predators in the form of alerts from the goby and a place to call home.Read more
Dec 22, 2015
Credit:

Jennifer Strotman, Collections Program

I want snack, so give me cookie! The cookie cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis ) is as fearless as they come! This small, 20-inch shark can take on giants like whales and larger sharks, and have even been known to mistakenly try to bite submarines. They dwell in the deep warm ocean and come closer to the surface as the sun sets to grab a quick snack off their unsuspecting prey. Cookie cutter...Read more

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