Today's Catch

Aug 22, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The blue lined octopus may be small, growing to at most 15 cm, but it can be deadly: its venom can cause breathing failure in humans as well as other animals. Turtles can accidentally consume the octopus when grazing and drown due to the immobilizing toxins. The blue coloring serves as a warning since it only appears when the octopus is aggravated. Even though the blue lined octopus is more...Read more
Aug 21, 2013
Credit:

Bo Pardau, Flickr

The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin that, despite its name, is not closely related to the killer whale. Instead, it's named for similarities in their skull shapes, as the first false killer whale was described from a fossil in the mid-1800s. They are very social animals and form strong bonds with each other, causing them to stick together in pods. This can be...Read more
Aug 20, 2013
Credit:

L. Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. (WHOI) (www.cmarz.org)

In the Coral Triangle, a biodiverse area between Indonesia and the Philippines, scientists discovered this swimming polychaete (bristly worm), which they have dubbed the "squidworm." Using a remotely operated vehicle, the researchers with the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ), a project of the Census of Marine Life , dove 1.8 miles (2,800 meters) to first discover Teuthidodrilus samae in 2007...Read more
Aug 19, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy. To do their job, Eastern cleaner-clingfish move by clinging onto different surfaces instead of swimming themselves. They can hold onto kelp or sponges with a strong grip before moving onto a fish...Read more
Aug 16, 2013
Credit:

Critidoc, Flickr

A master of disguise, the pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ) grows to only 2cm in length and matches the gorgonian coral that it lives on. The pygmy seahorse is so successful at hiding that it was not found until its home was being studied in a lab. So little is known about this mysterious creature that the major threats to it are unknown. However a possible threat is removing the pygmy...Read more
Aug 15, 2013
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters," says one fish in this video. The world of drifters is the world of zooplankton . Many zooplankton, like the fish, are tiny embryos and recently-hatched larvae that will grow into much bigger fish, squids, clams, crabs, worms, corals, starfish, and other organisms. Some, like...Read more
Aug 14, 2013
Credit:

© Courtesy of the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California

Sharks come in all sizes. The largest is the whale shark , which has been known to get as large as 18 meters (60 feet). The smallest fits in your hand. And the great white shark is somewhere in the middle. See pictures of a wide diversity of sharks , read 5 reasons to revere sharks , and see even more articles about sharks .Read more
Aug 13, 2013
Credit:

Bill, Flickr

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 into his pouch. These ruby red eggs take eight weeks to hatch and when the young leave they are on their own. Unfortunately this leads to a low survival rate of...Read more
Aug 12, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The spanish dancer is one of the largest species and best swimmers of the nudibranchs. Nudibranchs are mollusks who don't have shells in their adult stage. When the spanish dancer swims, the wide edges of its mantle (the parapodia) are pushed through the water in a graceful undulating movement reminiscent of flamenco dancers. The spanish dancer is not just known for its dance. It has a...Read more
Aug 9, 2013
Credit:

Jennifer Strotman, Collections Program

I want snack, so give me cookie! The cookie cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis ) is as fearless as they come! This small, 20-inch shark can take on giants like whales and larger sharks, and have even been known to mistakenly try to bite submarines. They dwell in the deep warm ocean and come closer to the surface as the sun sets to grab a quick snack off their unsuspecting prey. Cookie cutter...Read more

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