Today's Catch

Feb 4, 2014
Credit:

David Burdick/NOAA Photo Library

A crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci ) on a reef in the Marianas Islands. An “outbreak” of these coral-eating starfish can decimate a reef, and they have done great damage on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.Read more
Feb 3, 2014
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

Relatively slow moving, juvenile plane-head filefish Monacanthus hispidus (Monacanthidae) travel along with the algae. They pick off and eat small animals as they move around in the rotating sargassum ball. Adult filefish only grow to be about 11 inches long. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the...Read more
Jan 27, 2014
Credit:

Maggie D. Johnson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Unlike the green, leafy algae we're used to seeing on the seafloor, coralline algae has a hard crust—which you can see here at the molecular level in a photo from a scanning electron microscope. Each coralline algae cell builds a limestone wall around itself, creating a honeycomb-like structure. As layer upon layer of algae grow over one another, they form an ever-thicker crust that acts as a...Read more
Jan 22, 2014
Credit:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the 1940s the short-tailed albatross population plummeted from tens of millions to such a small number that they were believed to be extinct. Their decline was due to hunting for their feathers and damage to their breeding islands from volcanic activity. Keeping track of these migratory birds can be difficult. They nest and breed on islands off of Japan and then fly to the west coast of the...Read more
Jan 15, 2014
Credit:

© David Shale

This rarely-seen smalleyed rabbitfish ( Hydrolagus affinis ), belonging to the order of Chimaera, was caught during a research trip to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2004 sponsored by the Census of Marine Life . In Greek mythology, chimeras were beasts that were part lion, part snake and part goat, although deep sea Chimaeras are not a combination of animals. Rather, they are related to sharks, but...Read more
Dec 27, 2013
Credit:

© Glenn Loates

An adult giant squid struggles for survival in an encounter with a sperm whale - its only known predator. The whale will probably overpower and eat the squid. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid section .Read more
Dec 23, 2013
Credit:

Joseph Poupin, Institut de Recherche de l'Ecole Naval

Ghost crabs are often seen scuttling quickly along beaches at night, when they emerge from their burrows to feed, and can be difficult to photograph in the wild. They are common in Moorea, an island in the Pacific Ocean, where this specimen was collected. More about the Moorea can be found in the article "Scientists Catalog Life on the Island of Moorea . "Read more
Dec 20, 2013
Credit:

Wikimedia User "Mtpaley"

An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's legs to keep warm in the long Antarctic winter. Learn more about research on emperor penguins and other Antarctic creatures .Read more
Dec 10, 2013
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would it say? "I came from a world of drifters," says one fish in this video. The world of drifters is the world of zooplankton . Many zooplankton, like the fish, are tiny embryos and recently-hatched larvae that will grow into much bigger fish, squids, clams, crabs, worms, corals, starfish, and other organisms. Some, like...Read more
Dec 4, 2013
Credit:

© OCEANA Carlos Minguell

For centuries, the Baltic Sea has provided European flounder ( Platichthys flesus ) and other fish for millions of people. Since the early 1980s, the nations surrounding the sea have coordinated their efforts to protect its health through the Helsinki Commission . In addition to being overfished , the Baltic Sea is one of the more polluted bodies of water in the world . You can read about some of...Read more

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