Today's Catch

Staghorn Coral

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...

Introduction - TRASH TALK

NOAA Ocean Today Every Full Moon explores the issue of marine debris. According to NOAA, marine debris is "any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or...

Orcas in the Antarctic

Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke whale, another on seals, and the last eats fish. None...

Meet the obscure microbe that influences climate, ocean ecosystems, and perhaps even evolution

More than half of the oxygen you breathe comes from plants and algae in the ocean, like phytoplankton and seaweed, called marine photosynthesizers . Both use carbon dioxide, water and energy from the sun to make food for themselves, releasing oxygen...

Oil’s Impact on Marine Invertebrates

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...

Johnson-Sea-Link Submersible

The first time biologist Mandy Joye dove to the deep sea in the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible (pictured here), she had never seen the bubbles of a methane seep. But after that fateful day in 1994, she was entranced. Instead of studying the mussels...
New Sea Urchin Species Discovered Near New Caledonia in the South Pacific

Dazzling New Sea Urchin Species

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...
Photo taken of the inside of a sperm whale's mouth. The teeth on the lower jaw fit into sockets above- perfect for eating squid.

Inside a Sperm Whale's Mouth

Sperm whales have conical teeth on their long, narrow, lower jaw. The teeth fit neatly into sockets in the upper jaw, which has no teeth. This arrangement is a perfect adaptation for slurping up soft-bodied squids—giant or otherwise. The sperm whale...

Cashes Ledge

Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast, which is home to a great diversity of life. Because the rocky and steep peaks almost reach the surface in some areas, it is dangerous for fishermen. As such, they avoided it,...
Photograph of several large jellyfish with orange bells, dark red tentacles, and pale ruffly oral arms, swimming against a bright blue aquarium background.

Pacific Sea Nettles

These large jellyfish ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) are most commonly found along the coasts of California and Oregon. (They're also popular in the displays of public aquaria.) Their bells can grow to a diameter of around 1 foot (30 cm), with red...

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