Today's Catch

May 31, 2013
Credit:

Marli Wakeling/Nature's Best Photography

“Lembeh Strait is a fantastic place to find species that have evolved to resemble other animals or plants to survive. Because of the lens I was using, I had to get really close to this crab. As I moved in, it retreated into the xenia coral polyps. When I backed up, it came back out. The skittish crab, in addition to having the wrong lens for the task, made this a challenging shot.” -- Nature's...Read more
May 30, 2013
Credit:

Kunio Amaoka

This deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body, a gaping mouth, no fins or scales and a deep lateral line, which detects vibrations in the water. The first specimens were discovered by two Smithsonian scientists in fish collections at the National Museum of Natural History more than a century ago. In the 1980s, a different scientist realized that they only had female...Read more
May 29, 2013
Credit:

© Michael Moore/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This close-up photo of a right whale's head shows dozens of hitchhikers—tiny crustaceans known as whale lice, or cyamid amphipods. They live on the rough patches of skin (known as callosities) on North Atlantic right whales , eating algae that settles there and only causing minor skin damage. Distinctive patterns formed by their white bodies crowding around rough patches on whales’ skin help...Read more
May 28, 2013
Credit:

Brian Skerry, National Geographic

A gentoo penguin ( Pygoscelis papua ) mother stands with her chick in Antarctica. When walking on land, gentoo penguins waddle with their long tails dragging behind them; but in the water, they are the fastest penguins of them all, reaching swimming speeds of 36 kilometers per hour (around 22 miles per hour). The penguins breed on islands in the Antarctica, stacking stones to build nests to keep...Read more
May 23, 2013
Credit:

John Wang, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and hooks every year in U.S. waters. But off the coast of Mexico, one community is trying something different: hanging lights on their nets so turtles can avoid them. They've found a 50% reduction in turtle...Read more
May 22, 2013
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path to freedom.Read more
May 21, 2013
Credit:

Flickr user A.Davey

Blue-footed Boobies ( Sula nebouxii ) , common in the Galapagos Islands and other warm coastal areas of the Pacific, can catch flying fish in mid-air. Their blue feet are for fashion AND function. Male and female boobies wave their feet about in elaborate courtship displays and dances . Bluer feet mean a healthier bird and a better parent. Learn more about sea birds here !Read more
May 20, 2013
Credit:

© 2004 Smithsonian Institution

The lettuce sea slug ( Elysia crispata ) has enlarged fleshy appendages that are folded over one another, with colors ranging from blue to green, with purple and red lining. The green coloring is what gives this mollusk it's common name, resembling a head of leafy green lettuce. The sea slug eats green algae , but not all of the algae they eat is digested. Some of the green algae gets shuttled...Read more
May 17, 2013
Credit:

© 2004 Smithsonian Institution

West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow coastal ecosystems along the southeastern North America and northeastern South America. They graze plants in mangrove ecosystems and seagrass beds , occasionally eating small fish or invertebrates. However, they are sensitive to changes in their environment, such as cool water temperatures and harmful algal blooms , along with...Read more
May 16, 2013
In this video Smithsonian research zoologist Dr. Martha Nizinski takes viewers with her as she searches for crustaceans in the deep sea . She's particularly interested in finding squat lobsters , which despite their name, are actually crabs. On this dive in the waters off Curaçao , she discovers some living on a sunken piece of wood. This work is part of the Deep Reefs Observation Project (DROP...Read more

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