Today's Catch

Jul 10, 2013
Credit:

Barry Brown/Substation Curacao

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 curator of decapod Crustacea , has identified this hermit crab as Pylopagurus discoidalis . In the past, deep-sea animals like this one could only be...Read more
Jul 9, 2013
Credit:

Art Howard

Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so must do all of their observing and collecting using monitors and joysticks from land. This NOAA expedition to study deep-sea corals took place in November 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast...Read more
Jul 8, 2013
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light rarely reaches those depths, and most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to see red. The long, complex tentacles of this unidentified comb jelly (Order Cydippia) have sticky cells that can snag prey, and then retract. Learn more about comb jellies and click through a slideshow of deep ocean animals .Read more
Jul 5, 2013
Credit:

Nicky deBattista

The West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site's two fjords, among the world's longest and deepest, are considered archetypical fjord landscapes and among the most scenically outstanding anywhere. Their exceptional natural beauty is derived from narrow and steep-sided crystalline rock walls that rise up to 1,400 meters...Read more
Jul 4, 2013
Credit:

Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution

Vertebrates evolved in the sea and eventually moved onto land. The ancestors of whales later returned to the sea, taking advantage of its rich food supplies. As early whales adapted to their new marine surroundings, a diversity of species evolved. Explore the the interactive " Did Whale Evolution Go Backwards? ".Read more
Jul 3, 2013
Credit:

John Johnson/Marine Photobank

A 2010 study of IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species found that one-fifth of the world's vertebrates (animals with backbones) are threatened with extinction, including this Hawaiian monk seal. The Hawaiian monk seal ( Monachus schauinslandi ) is the one of the rarest marine mammals in the world: there are around 1,200 individuals alive today, around 1/3 the population size compared to 1950. Its...Read more
Jul 2, 2013
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

What are corals? Corals themselves are animals. But tropical reef-building corals have tiny plant-like organisms living in their tissue. The corals couldn’t survive without these microscopic algae–called zooxanthellae (zo-zan-THELL-ee). This cutaway diagram of a coral polyp shows where the photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, live—inside the polyp’s tissue. The coral gives the algae a home. In...Read more
Jul 1, 2013
Credit:

Scott Kupiec

In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of these blooms is that there is less food for fish and more for bacteria . This is because the large numbers of jellyfish eat zooplankton—potential fish food —but most fish don't eat jellyfish. Instead,...Read more
Jun 28, 2013
Credit:

Edy Setyawan

A smasher mantis shrimp came out from its burrow on a fringing reef adjacent to the USS Liberty ship wreck in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia at a depth of 6 meters. The smashers use their raptorial claw to break their food, like clams. Mantis shrimps have good vision as their eyes have 16 photo-receptors to recognize prey and avoid predators.Read more
Jun 27, 2013
Credit:

Dr. Mike Goebel, NOAA NMFS SWFSC

Looking through this iceberg's reflection in the Antarctic water, you can see the iceberg below the surface—some 90% of its total volume. Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice broken off of glaciers or ice shelves, left to float across the sea. Many icebergs and other pieces of floating ice cram together, freezing into pack ice, which is a form of sea ice.Read more

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