Today's Catch

Jul 31, 2013
Credit:

Paul Flandinette, Flickr

Anemone porcelain crabs may look delicate but they have their own sort of armor: a hard exoskeleton. They live under rocks, sponges, groups of feather stars, and even in giant anemones where they can hide inside the tentacles. Once inside they do not have to worry about gathering food since they are mainly filter feeders . Anemone porcelain crabs are also masters of escape and, if attacked, can...Read more
Jul 30, 2013
Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the reefs without cutting off communities from their food source? Instead of creating one big marine protected area to conserve coral reefs, one idea is to protect a series of smaller reef areas. A series of protected...Read more
Jul 26, 2013
Credit:

© 2004 Smithsonian Institution

An American crocodile ( Crocodylus acutus ) resting on a bed of seagrass . These medium-sized crocodiles are most commonly found in mangrove -lined estuaries and saltwater lagoons between the southern coast of the United States and the northern coasts of South America and Mexico. They are considered "Vulnerable" by the IUCN Red List , having undergone a population decline of 30% over the last...Read more
Jul 25, 2013
Credit:

Laurence Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/CMarZ, Census of Marine Life

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 detritus-rich sediment into its mouth. It's so transparent that you can even see its digestive tract winding through its body! See more cool...Read more
Jul 24, 2013
Credit:

NOAA

Bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) are very social animals, and often travel and hunt in groups called pods. The most common is a nursery group of 5-20 dolphins made up of females and their calves—although occasionally they will gather in groups (with males) of 1,000 or more. They often hunt together, and learn different tricks for catching food from one another (such as using sponges to...Read more
Jul 23, 2013
Credit:

©Clyde F.E. Roper

Smaller than the head of a pin, this arrow squid (Doryteuthis plei ) embryo looks like a miniature adult and is almost ready to hatch! Depending on the squid species, the development from a fertilized egg to a nearly-hatched larva can take one or several weeks. The embryo sits in an egg-sac, which keeps it separate from other developing embryos nearby and provides it food. Once the yolk sac...Read more
Jul 22, 2013
Credit:

Wolcott Henry

Compare the healthy coral on the left with the bleached coral on the right. Increased water temperatures caused the bleached coral to lose the microscopic algae that give the coral color and provide it with food. Corals can recover from bleaching if there is time and space for healthy tissues to regrow, but too often other factors such as pollution or fast-growing seaweeds smother their chances...Read more
Jul 19, 2013
Credit:

Henrique Nascimento, Flickr

Necora puber , also known as the velvet swimming crab, may not be as soft as the name implies. The crab's red eyes and aggressive nature have resulted in a second nickname, devil's crab . As if it weren’t intimidating enough already, Necora puber is also the largest swimming crab found off of Britain’s coast. However not everyone is scared. Scotland has increased the capture of the red-eyed crab...Read more
Jul 18, 2013
Credit:

© BBC

When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral gardeners. Fiji's coral gardeners, who are fishermen trained by biologists, collect small corals that are struggling to grow because they have little space, and bring them to a raised platform that...Read more
Jul 17, 2013
Credit:

NSF and NOAA

A volcanic eruption of superheated magma (some 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit) from the West Mata Volcano produces a bright flash of hot magma that is blown up into the water before settling back to the seafloor. The explosion throws ash and rock into the water, and molten lava glows below. This volcano is in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. Its top is nearly a mile below the ocean surface (1165 meters /...Read more

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