Today's Catch

Feb 28, 2013
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Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea 2007 Exploration, NOAA-OE.

How many animals swim in the sea? It's not easy to count them all. To get a feel for the ocean's diversity, scientists, such as those involved in the Census of Marine Life , sail out on research cruises to collect and count as many animals as they can find! Shown here is a sample of zooplankton collected in a trawl net with a 10-meter-square opening, including a jellyfish, a lanternfish, a snipe...Read more
Feb 26, 2013
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© Lollo Enstad/San Diego Natural History Museum

Two fossilized teeth from a megalodon ( Carcharodon megalodon ) dating back more than 20 million years. The ancestry of great white sharks has long been debated, but by looking closer at shark teeth scientists know that the giant megatooth shark was not an ancestor of the great white shark. More about the great white shark can be found in our Great White Shark featured story .Read more
Feb 25, 2013
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Caine Delacy

When you think of African animals, what do you think of? Probably the “Big Five:” lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos. But Africa also has an incredible amount of marine diversity in the coral reefs and open water surrounding the continent. Consider the ocean’s “Big Five” —whale sharks, giant manta rays, humpback whales, dolphins, tiger sharks—in this blog post from a researcher...Read more
Feb 21, 2013
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Jeff Yonover/Nature's Best Photography

These beautiful pink and yellow shimmering fish ( Parapriacanthus ransonneti ) live in large groups among corals and in caves where they feed on zooplankton at night. “Golden sweepers form schools in reef crevices and caves and among coral heads. The technique I employed to make this image was a long exposure and rear curtain synchronization combined with a circular rotation of the camera during...Read more
Feb 19, 2013
The majestic and highly predatory red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) , native to the Indo-Pacific, is invading Atlantic waters. The lionfish is a popular home aquarium species, and some were most likely dumped off the Florida coast when no longer wanted. The result is a lionfish population explosion that now threatens native species like snapper, grouper, and sea bass. Read " Five Invasive Species...Read more
Feb 15, 2013
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Courtesy of Alexander Semenov, Flickr

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 feet like butterfly wings! They are very small—rarely exceeding 1 centimeter long—but very abundant in some areas of the Arctic Ocean, where they feed...Read more
Feb 13, 2013
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Tony Brown, Flickr

In November 2012, Australia began protecting a huge swath of its ocean from overfishing and oil exploration, creating the largest network of marine reserves in the world at a grand total of 1.2 million square miles (3.1 million square kilometers). The area, a third of the continent’s territorial waters, includes an underwater canyon as large as the U.S. Grand Canyon, seagrass meadows, and the...Read more
Feb 12, 2013
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Sam Taylor / Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005, courtesy of Project 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 them from predators and ambush their prey. Read ten things you never knew about seahorses .Read more
Feb 11, 2013
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Hans Hillewaert

This swimming crab ( Liocarcinus holsatus ) has a parasitic barnacle rooted in its reproductive system. This invasion cuts off all reproduction for an infected crab and can even cause a male crab to change behavior — males don't normally take care of crab eggs, but the infected male will take care of the barnacle as if it is a brood of eggs. Read more about other parasites that you can find in...Read more
Feb 7, 2013
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© David Liittschwager/National Geographic

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 .Read more

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