Today's Catch

Aug 28, 2013
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The Japanese spider crab is a large catch for any fisherman. With a leg span of 13 feet (4 meters) and an average weight of around 40 pounds (16-20 kg), it claims the title of largest crab. It may also have the longest lifespan of any crab, living to be 100 years old. However, Japanese spider crabs do not survive very long without injury. Their long legs are weak , and a study found that three-...Read more
Aug 27, 2013
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The blue-spotted stingray ( Taeniura lymma ) doesn’t like to be covered in sand like other species of stingray do. Instead, it prefers to show off its beautiful blue spots and, to stay up to the best standards, it needs the help of cleaner fish. These cleaner fish remove parasites from larger fish. Their coloring gives them a sort of uniform, which lets the larger fish know not to eat them. Other...Read more
Aug 26, 2013
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When hurricanes blow through an area, they don’t just have an impact on humans. These intense wind events also cause great damage to the ecosystems (pdf) they touch. They harm marine animals by spewing pollution and debris onto their habitats. While there are a few animals, such as sharks and dolphins, that can sense the change in air pressure as a hurricane approaches and swim away, many animals...Read more
Aug 23, 2013
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On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed "Castle Bravo," the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area. Smithsonian scientists...Read more
Aug 22, 2013
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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