Today's Catch

Nov 21, 2013
Credit:

© Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution

The fossil tooth whorl of the ancient shark Helicoprion , dating back 290 million years before present. For a long time, people didn't know what the shark looked like—but, thanks to a CT scan of a fossil, researchers finally put the pieces together in 2013. Read more about this story in our great white shark overview , and learn more about top predators like Helicoprion in the Ocean Over Time...Read more
Nov 20, 2013
A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.Read more
Nov 19, 2013
Credit:

Filip Nuyttens, World Register of Marine Species

The European green crab ( Carcinus maenas ) has spread far beyond its native continent, to waters off North and South America, Asia and Australia. It's a voracious eater and poses a nuisance to shellfish farmers. Invasive species have various means of reaching new habitats. Read about the role ships play in spreading invasive species .Read more
Nov 18, 2013
Credit:

Trish Mace, Smithsonian Institution

This is an unidentified moray eel , collected from 650 feet off the coast of Curacao. Morays are very secretive animals that tend to stay hidden in caves and crevices. Researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) don't yet know if this is a young eel, or a small full-grown one. By analyzing this moray's DNA and comparing it to DNA from known morays in the Caribbean, they will...Read more
Nov 15, 2013
Credit:

Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution

Where ocean currents were strong, ancient rudist “recliners” lay unattached on the seabed. Notice the pink tentacles, which were used to filter feed. Learn more about ocean life throughout deep time in our Ocean Over Time interactive or an image gallery .Read more
Nov 14, 2013
Credit:

K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA

Light refracts off the comb-rows of the Mertensia ovum , a ctenophore , producing stripes of rainbow colors . The jelly eats copepods and small crustaceans that become stuck to its sticky tentacles. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.Read more
Nov 12, 2013
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

When they get larger, Portunus sayi are formidable predators, quick to consume any smaller animal that comes within reach. Fish, other crustaceans, and even smaller members of their own species are not safe from this hungry sargassum swimming crab. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the minuscule animals...Read more
Nov 6, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty. They are curious fish that will come and greet their human visitors. However this unique coloring is not shared with all ages. Young emperor angelfish have such a different color scheme than the adults that they are easily mistaken for a different species. They also act differently: young fish may also take up a job as a...Read more
Oct 31, 2013
Credit:

© David Shale

This lizardfish ( Bathysaurus ferox ) rests on the ocean bottom with its head slightly elevated—waiting to snatch prey with its large mouth and sharp teeth. It lives at depths of 600-3,500 meters (1,969-11,483 feet) and grows up to 64 centimeters (25.2 inches) long. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
Oct 25, 2013
Credit:

NIWA, New Zealand/CenSeam, Census of Marine Life

A huge colony of brittlestars (likely Ophiacantha rosea ) covers the peak of a seamount in the deep ocean. What’s the attraction? Food! Their arms reach out for tiny food particles carried by the swift Antarctic Circumpolar Current. More about the deep ocean can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more

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