Today's Catch

Dec 29, 2014

Flickr User Michael Bentley

No two snowflakes are alike. Every snowflake is beautiful in its own way. But this one’s a bit scary. The snowflake moray eel ( Echidna nebulosa ) has white, black and yellow splotches all over its body, which come together to look like snowflake designs. Moray eels eat their prey in a unique way – with two jaws. The second set of jaws is in their throat, which shoots up and grabs the prey from...Read more
Dec 24, 2014

Flickr user Laszlo Ilyes

The festive Christmas tree worm ( Spirobranchus giganteus ) lives on tropical coral reefs and resembles a fluffy fir tree adorned with ornaments. The multi-functional branch-like appendages are used by the worm to breathe and to catch meals of plankton floating by. See more holiday-themed animals !Read more
Dec 15, 2014
Cabo Pulmo is the northernmost coral reef in the eastern Pacific, and, at around 20,000 years old, it may be the oldest and most important reef in the American Pacific. The preservation of Cabo Pulmo is a local, national, and international success story. After decades of intense fishing had depleted Cabo Pulmo’s marine life, the local communities secured protected status for the reef from the...Read more
Dec 12, 2014

LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps

For many years, shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy at weddings and formal occasions in China. Recently, it has become clear that shark-fin removal is cruel to sharks and severely damages shark populations. Claudia Li, a passionate Chinese-Canadian woman, wanted to make a difference. Li started an organization called Shark Truth, now a part of the Hua Foundation, and set up a contest...Read more
Dec 11, 2014

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
Dec 9, 2014

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 onto a brood patch that has small cup-like indentations, like a sponge. These ruby red eggs take eight weeks to hatch and when the young leave they are on their...Read more
Dec 8, 2014

© 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 photos and learn more about the wide diversity of sharks , read 5 reasons to revere sharks , and see even more articles about sharks .Read more
Dec 5, 2014

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
Dec 4, 2014

Edy Setyawan

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 National Park, Papua, Indonesia—they interact with bagans ( fishing platforms on the water's surface ), which provide ikan puri (anchovy), a staple in...Read more
Dec 3, 2014

Erwin Poliakoff, Flickr

Frogfish are skilled hunters and some species are capable of blending into local environments such as coral reefs . A frogfish can camouflage itself so well that prey fish will swim close by without seeing the predator lurking before them. Then, before the prey knows it, he’s eaten in about 6 milliseconds! The frogfish is an eating machine with a mouth cavity that can grow up to 12 times its size...Read more