Today's Catch

What If There Were No Sharks?

What would happen if we let our fear of sharks lead people to kill them all? This is the question Joe Hanson asks in this video from PBS Digital Studios. Find out about how the removal of sharks affects the food web, ecosystem balance, and why...
An American crocodile rests on a bed of seagrass.

American Crocodile

An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the southern coast of the United States and the northern...
The weedy sea dragon male can hold around 250 eggs in his pouch.

The Dragon of the Sea

Just like other seahorse species, male weedy sea dragons are the ones to get 'pregnant' and give birth to the babies. To show he is ready to hold eggs, the male wrinkles part of his tail. On this signal, the female places around 250 eggs onto a...
Anemone porcelain crabs can avoid predators by not only living in anemones but by willing loosing appendages to avoid infection.

The Porcelain Crab

Anemone porcelain crabs may look delicate but they have their own sort of armor: a hard exoskeleton. They live under rocks, sponges, groups of feather stars, and even in giant anemones where they can hide inside the tentacles. Once inside they do...
Red hot magma and ash erupt from an underwater volcano.

An Underwater Volcanic Eruption

A volcanic eruption of superheated magma (some 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit) from the West Mata Volcano produces a bright flash of hot magma that is blown up into the water before settling back to the seafloor. The explosion throws ash and rock into the...
"The ocean is essential to all."

'Ocean' in Korean Calligraphy

"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon , a resident of Maryland. The artist showcased his craft for visitors at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History during a May 2011 event in...
A look into a whale shark mouth.

A Smiling Gentle Giant

The whale shark ( Rhincodon typus ) is the largest fish on Earth. They spend most of their lives in the deep water up to 200 meters or more, but swim up to the surface to gather food and warm their bodies. In Kwatisore—located in Cenderawasih Bay...
A tusk shell hermit crab peeks out of his shell.

Tusk Shell Hermit Crab

When this tusk shell was brought up from the deep reef, it was a surprise when a hermit crab poked out! Notice the hermit crab's large claw that it can use to tightly cover the shell opening when it retracts into the shell. Dr. Rafael Lemaitre, NMNH...

Rip Current Science

Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the U.S., as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes. Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can...
A Hawaiian petrel in flight

Hawaiian Petrel

The Hawaiian petrel ( Pterodroma sandwichensis ) lives over the Pacific ocean unless it is breeding season (March to October) when they can be found nesting on Hawaiian islands. They feed on animals like fish, squid and crustaceans that they swoop...

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