Today's Catch

May 28, 2015

Seabird McKeon

When they get larger, Portunus sayi are formidable predators, quick to consume any smaller animal that comes within reach. Fish, other crustaceans, and even smaller members of their own species are not safe from this hungry sargassum swimming crab. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the minuscule animals...Read more
May 27, 2015

© OCEANA Carlos Minguell

For centuries, the Baltic Sea has provided European flounder ( Platichthys flesus ) and other fish for millions of people to consume. Since the early 1980s, the nations surrounding the sea have coordinated their efforts to protect its health through the Helsinki Commission . In addition to being overfished , the Baltic Sea is one of the more polluted bodies of water in the world . You can read...Read more
May 26, 2015

Tony Brown, Flickr

The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty. They are curious fish that will come and greet their human visitors. However this unique coloring is not shared with all ages. Young emperor angelfish, like the one in this image, have such a different color scheme than the adults that they are easily mistaken for a different species. The adult coloring has blue and...Read more
May 22, 2015
A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.Read more
May 21, 2015

© Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution

This fossil tooth whorl of the ancient shark Helicoprion , dates back 290 million years. For a long time, people didn't know what the shark looked like—but, thanks to a CT scan of a fossil, researchers finally put the pieces together in 2013. Read more about this story in our great white shark overview , and learn more about top predators like Helicoprion in the Ocean Over Time section .Read more
May 20, 2015

NIWA, New Zealand/CenSeam, Census of Marine Life

A huge colony of brittlestars (likely Ophiacantha rosea ) covers the peak of a seamount in the deep ocean. What’s the attraction? Food! Their arms reach out for tiny food particles carried by the swift Antarctic Circumpolar Current. More about the deep ocean can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
May 18, 2015

R. Hopcroft, UAF, Hidden Ocean 2005 NOAA.

This copepod Calanus hyperboreus (up to 7mm in length) lives in the Arctic , usually within 500 meters of the surface. To survive the cold Arctic winters, Calanus hyperboreus builds up dense fat (lipid) supplies on its body, which makes it a preferred food of both ctenophores and bowhead whales.Read more
May 15, 2015

Copyright © Brian Skerry

Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) swimming within a fresh water spring on Crystal River in Florida. Note the tree roots on the right of the frame which make up a portion of this unique ecosystem. Fish aggregate around the manatee and eat algae off of the manatee's body.Read more
May 14, 2015

Michael Berumen

Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's Sant Chair for Marine Science, puts up an Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure (ARMS) during a dive in the Red Sea. These small underwater “condos” have been placed across the world’s oceans—from shallow water to 700 feet on the deep reefs of Curaçao, and from Brazil to the Indian Ocean. The ARMS mimic the nooks and crannies of oyster reefs, without the sharp edges...Read more
May 13, 2015

Courtesy Charles Fisher

Deep-sea corals miles away from the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were impacted by the plumes. One affected site was 13.7 miles (22 km) away from the Macondo wellhead—the farthest observed—and extremely deep, more than 6,000 feet (1,875 meters) below the surface. This is deeper than any of the reported oil plumes that resulted from the spill. How did oil get down there? Read...Read more