Today's Catch

Jun 24, 2014
Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin species regularly live and breed in frigid Antarctica; the rest live in sub-temperate to temperate regions, along the coasts or on islands in the Southern hemisphere. But these beloved birds are...Read more
Jun 23, 2014
Credit:

© Alexander Semenov Link

The Arctic comb jelly or sea nut ( Mertensia ovum ) is commonly found in the surface (top 50 meters) in cold, northern waters. Like other cydippid ctenophores, it has two tentacles fringed with smaller tentacles, which are dappled with colloblasts. Colloblasts are specialized cells that, upon contact with other organisms, act as a glue, allowing the comb jelly to pull the food to its mouth with...Read more
Jun 20, 2014
Credit:

John Sylvester/Nature's Best Photography

Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal breeding grounds are being lost in the North Atlantic and Arctic. “Every March, up to 200,000 harp seal pups are born on sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In 2011, storms and lack of ice-cover due...Read more
Jun 19, 2014
Credit:

© Alison Kock, Save Our Seas

A great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) emerges from the water's surface, gaping at the photographer. Gaping is a way sharks communicate with each other, and maybe even try and communicate with humans. In addition to gaping, sharks have six highly refined senses for both hunting and communication: smell, hearing, touch, taste, sight, and electromagnetism. These finely honed senses coupled...Read more
Jun 18, 2014
Credit:

Allen Collins

This rare staurozoan , or stalked jellyfish ( Haliclystus californiensis ) is about 2 centimeters in length and was collected off the coast of California. Unlike the traditional bell-shaped floating jellyfish, staurozoans live attached to rocks or other hard surfaces and mostly live in cold water. They tend to blend in with their surroundings, so often go unnoticed except to those who seek them...Read more
Jun 17, 2014
Credit:

Bill & Mark Bell, Flickr

The three-spot frogfish ( Lophiocharon trisignatus ), seen here off the coast of Western Australia, looks like it might just be a rock or a part of the sea floor! Frogfish use various methods of camouflage such as their rough shape, color changes and even inflation to hide from their predators. The male of this species carries clusters of eggs on its side while they develop.Read more
Jun 16, 2014
Credit:

Richard Wylie/Nature's Best Photography

Weedy seadragons ( Phyllopteryx taeniolatus ) are found off the coast of south and east Australia. Just like seahorses , the male seadragon is tasked with caring for its eggs. The bright pink eggs are placed by the female on a brood patch on the underside of the male where they are incubated and then hatch after about six weeks. “The male weedy seadragon is entrusted with the pink, fertilized...Read more
Jun 13, 2014
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

Sargassum fluitans , a.k.a. “Gulfweed,” forms dense clumps up to the size of a beach ball that slowly rotate as they drift. The fronds are quite dense, but if you look carefully, sometimes you can see hints of the rich community that hides in the floating sargassum. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the...Read more
Jun 12, 2014
Credit:

Britta Monaco/Marine Photobank

Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash. While the western coastline of Bonaire is mostly pristine, lots of plastic debris from other Caribbean islands and South America washes up on the eastern shore after being carried by currents. This...Read more
Jun 11, 2014
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-to-Energy Program is reducing the effects of marine debris on the ocean and keeping shorelines clean. Explore other videos that capture the beauty and mystery of the ocean realm at NOAA Ocean Today .Read more

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