Today's Catch

Aug 5, 2013
Credit:

Edy Setyawan

The whale shark ( Rhincodon typus ) is the largest fish on Earth. They spend most of their lives in the deep water up to 200 meters or more, but swim up to the surface to gather food and warm their bodies. In Kwatisore—located in Cenderawasih Bay National Park, Papua, Indonesia—they interact with bagans ( fishing platforms on the water's surface ), which provide ikan puri (anchovy), a staple in...Read more
Aug 2, 2013
Credit:

wildestanimal, Flickr

Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for walruses, who tend to be sociable animals. Their groups can range from tens to thousands. Each individual herd has a dominant male who is established by his aggressiveness, tusk size and physical size. Though due to the competitiveness for dominance, the social structure always remains on thin ice.Read more
Aug 1, 2013
Credit:

Erwin Poliakoff, Flickr

Frogfish are skilled hunters and some species are capable of blending into local environments such as coral reefs . A frogfish can camouflage itself so well that prey fish will swim close by without seeing the predator lurking before them. Then, before the prey knows it, he’s eaten in about 6 milliseconds! The frogfish is an eating machine with a mouth cavity that can grow up to 12 times its size...Read more
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

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