Today's Catch

Mar 26, 2014
Credit:

Zhifei Zhang et al.Link

For a long time, scientists thought that some small tentacled fossils were early ancestors of jellyfish. But a new study has found that these ancient animals are actually related to an entirely different group of animals : the entoprocts, which are still alive today. The new fossil ( Cotyledion tylodes ) lived during the Cambrian period (around 520 million years ago), along with the ancestors of...Read more
Mar 25, 2014
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Hidden Ocean 2005, NOAA

In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole” because it looks like a tadpole) drifts through the water in its 'house.' This house is made of protein and creates almost a shell around the larvacean and helps to filter particles out of the water for the larvacean to eat. And when the filters get clogged, the plankter can just shed the 'house' and build itself a new...Read more
Mar 24, 2014
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Wikimedia User “Fisherman”

Buyers examine tuna lining the floor of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. Ounce per ounce, tuna is one of the most valuable varieties of seafood. In 2012, a single 593lb bluefin tuna sold for $736,000 in a Japanese market. Not surprisingly, populations of bluefin tunas have declined to very low levels, and the species is listed as endangered .Read more
Mar 21, 2014
Credit:

New England Aquarium

A close up view of Phoenix and the rough patches of skin known as callosities that are found on all North Atlantic right whales . These callosities are inhabited by small amphipods called whale lice and they can be used to identify an individual right whale much like fingerprints. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .Read more
Mar 20, 2014
Credit:

Texas A&M University

This deep-sea black coral from Hawaii ( Leiopathes sp. ) is more than 4,200 years old. Black corals are named for the color of their skeletons, but the external tissues of black corals come in many bright colors. Explore more in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."Read more
Mar 17, 2014
Credit:

George Cathcart

"Fronds of giant kelp, buoyed by their gas-filled pneumatocysts, wave like pennants in the current of Monterey Bay, California," wrote George Cathcart of his image , a winning selection in the Portraits of Planet Ocean Flickr contest . Giant kelp ( Macrocystis pyrifera ) is large, brown algae that grows in dense forests along coasts around the world. Long stalks anchor each plant to the seafloor...Read more
Mar 14, 2014
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Flickr User Telemachus

Sharks have young in three different ways. After internal fertilization, some species lay a thick egg case that encloses the shark embryo (seen in the photo here). Most species are ovoviviparous, which means that the shark hatches and develops within the female shark and is born live. A third way (viviparous) is similar to human development, where the young shark grows within the female and gets...Read more
Mar 11, 2014
Credit:

HBOI

These cancer cells have been treated with discodermolide, a chemical obtained from a sponge that grows on deep-sea coral reefs. It prevents the cells from dividing and spreading. Learn more about deep-sea corals in the multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea " and about drugs from sea creatures in our conversation with Dr. Shirley Pomponi .Read more
Mar 10, 2014
Credit:

©2003 MBARI

Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden water flows out of the seafloor in undersea hot springs—such as the Guymas Basin of the Gulf of California at 2,000 meters (6562 feet), where MBARI took this photo. As volcanic activity deep below the seafloor changes, sometimes these hot springs stop flowing. In this case, the entire worm colony may die off. But new hot...Read more
Mar 6, 2014
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© Brian Skerry, www.brianskerry.com

The shortfin mako shark ( Isurus oxyrinchus) is found offshore in tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but has been known to travel to cooler waters at times. It is very strong and the fastest known species of shark, reaching moving speeds of 31 mph (50 kph) with bursts up to 46 mph! These qualities make the shortfin mako a prized catch among recreational fisherman. The mako is also...Read more

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