Today's Catch

Apr 19, 2013
Credit:

Flickr user Bill & Mark Bell

What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more carbon than tropical forests , which means they play an important role in both removing excess carbon from the atmosphere and storing that carbon for the long haul...Read more
Apr 18, 2013
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

Like this ctenophore ( Aulococtena acuminata ), many animals that live in the midwater zone are red—making them almost invisible in the dim blue light that filters down from the sea surface. This small comb jelly snares prey with its two short tentacles. Read m ore about the deep sea and comb jellies .Read more
Apr 17, 2013
Credit:

Joel Butnick, Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005. Courtesy of Project Seahorse

Seahorses are hitchhikers. They can travel long distances across the ocean—farther than they can swim—by attaching themselves to floating seaweed and debris. Read 10 more facts you never knew about seahorses .Read more
Apr 16, 2013
Credit:

Flickr user Paul Flandinette

Polarized sunglasses have become the norm for humans when they want to filter out the strong glare from the sunlight bouncing off of water in a horizontal direction. But how do animals do that live in the water full time see over the glare? Over time some animals, including fish, crabs and shrimp, have evolved built-in polarized vision . In addition to helping them see underwater, mantis shrimp...Read more
Apr 15, 2013
Credit:

Rod Strachan/Nature's Best Photography

These cute Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae ) are actually having a bit of a spat. In the spring (October for them), the penguins form breeding colonies on rocky coasts with thousands of birds in a group. Krill, a tiny crustacean, is the penguins' main food source, but krill populations are being affected by climate change and the Adélie penguin populations are decreasing as a result. “This...Read more
Apr 12, 2013
Credit:

Paulyn Cartwright et al. 2007 (PLOS ONE) Link

How long have jellyfish lived in the ocean? This jellyfish fossil is from the Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago. It was found buried in Utah —an area that used to be underwater, covered by the ocean. Fossil jellyfish are rare because they have no bones or other hard parts to turn into fossils. Instead, scientists have to look for so-called "soft fossils," when organisms are quickly...Read more
Apr 11, 2013
Credit:

Flickr user bluewavechris

Large waves are a draw for surfers, scientists and spectators alike to locations around the world. Changes to the coast and ocean floor as well as sediment flow can change the nature of a wave as it reaches shore. So when three condos were going to be built on the shore of his favorite surfing spot, a surfer turned to economics . Turns out you can quantify the value of waves by looking at how...Read more
Apr 10, 2013
Credit:

James Watt, USFWS Pacific

Check out the eyes on these Hawaiian squirrelfish ( Sargocentron xantherythrum )! Because squirrelfish are almost entirely nocturnal, they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as they can in the dark. During the day, they hide out in the nooks and crannies of tropical coral reefs. To defend its small hiding place, the squirrelfish grunts by grinding its teeth and stretching the...Read more
Apr 9, 2013
Credit:

Rob Peatling, Flickr

Instead of females, male seahorses carry the developing seahorse embryos in a kangaroo-like pouch. During mating season, the female deposits her eggs into the pouch, and the male fertilizes them. After about two weeks of development, out pop the seahorse fry, ready to swim off and explore the ocean world. Here is a very pregnant short-snouted seahorse ( Hippocampus breviceps ) in Australia. Read...Read more
Apr 8, 2013
Credit:

Mauritius100, Flickr

When most people think of catfish, they think of a freshwater fish. But the striped eel catfish ( Plotosus lineatus ) is found in marine systems including coral reefs, estuaries, tide pools and other coastal areas of the Indo-Western Pacific. The juveniles of the fish school in groups of up to 100, while the adults tend to stick to themselves or in smaller groups. Watch out for their spines: they...Read more

Pages