Today's Catch

A collage of the wildlife found in one cubic foot on the reef near Moorea, French Polynesia.

One Cubic Foot of Reef

Photographer David Liittschwager took a 12-inch metal frame to Moorea, French Polynesia, and four other disparate environments to see how much life he could find in one cubic foot. Read more about the project and ocean biodiversity .
Squid at Sunset Reef Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Squid at Sunset Reef Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright reflection and came eye-to-eye with this beautiful, curious squid," said Charles Viggers, a Nature's Best photographer. Squids have organs in their skin called chromatophores...
Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in their quest to collect one of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers.

Cooks Bay, Moorea

Cooks Bay in Moorea is one of the places that researchers are scouring in their quest to collect one of every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers. In the background is Mt. Rotui—the Tahitian word for octopus. More about the Island of...
A photo of a sea walnut, a ctenophore.

Sea Walnut (Mnemiopsis leidyi)

This ctenophore (a stingless jellyfish-like animal) is native to the east coast of North and South America. In 1982, it was discovered in the Black Sea, where it was transported by ballast water . It subsequently spread to the Caspian Sea. In both...
In the 19th century, many women wore tight corsets that were stiffened with stays made from baleen.

Whale Products in Fashion

In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing, such as tight corsets, used by high-fashion women...

Can You Spot the Seahorse?

It's a pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ), found in Indonesia's biodiverse Coral Triangle and one of the smallest seahorse species in the world! They can change colors like a chameleon to blend into their environment. This helps to protect...

The First Filter Feeder

Today, filter feeders like clams, sponges, krill, baleen whales, fishes, and many others fill the ocean, spending their days filtering and eating tiny particles from the water. But when did the first filter feeder evolve? The first known filter...
A pair of sea butterflies float in the Arctic ocean.

A Pair of Sea Butterflies

This pair of sea butterflies ( Limacina helicina ) flutter not far from the ocean's surface in the Arctic. Sea butterflies are a type of sea snail, but instead of dragging themselves around the seafloor with a muscular foot, they flap their adapted...
A nudibranch showing a closeup of their fleshy, tentacle-like growths, called cerata.

Aeolid Nudibranch Defense

This nudibranch has a few tricks up its sleeve: it steals jellyfish tentacles to use as weapons against its own enemies. How does it do this? Many fleshy, tentacle-like growths, called cerata (singular: ceras), project off its back. After the...

Deep-Sea Dragonfish

The deep-sea dragonfish ( Stomiidae ), also called the barbeled dragonfish, uses it's fang-like teeth to grab prey in its deep-sea environment . Like other deep-sea organisms, dragonfish have bioluminescent photophores and other adaptations that...

Pages