Today's Catch

Census researchers discovered this sea cucumber (Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Transparent Sea Cucumber

Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea cucumber ( Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,750 meters depth. It creeps forward on its tentacles pretty slowly, at around 2 centimeters per minute, while sweeping...
A deep-sea octopus protecting her eggs

Vigilant Octomom

Talk about an investment! This octopus mom protected her brood of about 160 eggs for 4.5 years for the longest ever recorded brooding time of any animal. She was first observed by scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)...
A comparison of an undisturbed Oculina coral reef and one that has been devastated by trawling.

Undisturbed vs. Trawled Reef

The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but trawling has devastated the one at bottom. When fishermen trawl, they drag a net along the seafloor, destroying everything in its path. Only about 10 percent of Oculina...
Photograph of a green sea slug, with white polka-dot-like markings and white-edged ruffly structures along the length of its back.

Lettuce Sea Slug

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...

Animals of the Ice

Watch animals of the ice run, swim, slide, waddle, and fly. Polar bears, penguins, seals, fish, krill and birds, all live on or under the ice. How they survive in the harsh extremes of the polar regions is amazing. Today, because of a warming planet...
A gang of king penguins.

King Penguins, Right Whale Beach, South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean

There are over 30 colonies of king penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) on South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The penguins capture their prey, typically lanternfish, by diving at speeds of 12 miles per hour. “This photo was taken...

Shark Girl With Caribbean Reef Sharks

Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. She’s been diving with sharks since the age of twelve. Here she is feeding a group of Caribbean reef...
A shining jingle shell on the sand.

Jingle Shells

The jingle shell ( Anomia simplex ) is a common bivalve found on the Atlantic coast of North America, amongst the more commonly known clams and oysters. As with oysters, the lower shell is glued to a hard surface. Even after the mollusk is dead, the...
The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty.

Emperor Angelfish

The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty. They are curious fish that will come and greet their human visitors. However this unique coloring is not shared with all ages. Young emperor angelfish, like the one in this...

The Smithsonian Marine Collections

A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.

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