Today's Catch

Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

NOAA

Superheated magma, about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, glows orange as it slowly leaks from cracks along the six-mile long active rift zone of the West Mata Volcano in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. The slow-leaking magma doesn't erupt, but bubbles out and solidifies to form pillow basalts, a type of rock commonly found at volcano sites and in the Earth's crust. The volcano's top is nearly a mile below...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

D. Ross Robertson and Carole C. Baldwin

By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) have discovered a new species of tiny fish in the biodiversity-rich waters of the southern Caribbean. The fish, a blenny named Haptoclinus dropi , is only around 2 cm in length with a beautiful color pattern that includes iridescence on the fins. Against a white background, it's hard to see the...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Photo courtesy of Jim Denny

The Hawaiian petrel ( Pterodroma sandwichensis ) lives over the Pacific ocean unless it is breeding season (March to October) when they can be found nesting on Hawaiian islands. They feed on animals like fish, squid and crustaceans that they swoop down to grab from the water, but their meals may have changed over the past 4,000 years.Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Alan Studley/Nature’s Best Photography

“This shark was cruising low along the reef known as Alcyone. Her left eye was glancing up toward other hammerheads when I took this shot from below.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Alan Studley. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from the 2010 Nature's Best Ocean Views photo contest.Read more
Oct 16, 2014
There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were lost at sea by fishers; others were discarded overboard when they ripped or became tangled. Regardless, once they are adrift, they catch and kill many sea creatures that get in their way. But it doesn't have to be this way. The plastic that makes up the discarded nets could be reused and recycled—if only there were a way...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a former Smithsonian coral biologist, in 1947. Trapezia crabs live on and within corals, feeding on their tissue and mucus, and protect them from predators such as crown-of-thorns starfish . Bayer made these drawings in 1947, one year after the US military tested nuclear bombs on the coral reefs of Bikini Atoll in the...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) are big, but they're not the biggest whales. That distinction goes to the Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ), the largest animal on Earth. While the Orca, or Killer whale size of up to 31 feet make it the largest dolphin. The Sperm whale on the other hand may not be the biggest whale, but it has the biggest brain...Read more
Oct 16, 2014
Credit:

NOAA

One of the biggest threats to sea turtles, such as the loggerhead turtle ( Caretta caretta ) pictured here, is being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. Trapped in a net, the turtles are dragged through the water with no access to the surface to breathe, causing them to drown. To address this problem, NOAA Fisheries worked with the shrimp trawling industry to install escape hatches...Read more
Sep 30, 2014
Credit:

© David Shale

The long barbel on the chin of this dragonfish ( Stomias boa ) has a glowing tip that may attract prey. With its large mouth and sharp, curved teeth, the fish makes quick work of any prey that venture too close. Scaly dragonfish live at depths of 200-1,500 meters (656-4,921 feet) and grow up to 32 centimeters (12.6 inches) long. More about deep ocean can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration...Read more
Sep 28, 2014
This octopod is sometimes called a “Dumbo” octopod because its fins resemble the ears of Disney’s Dumbo the elephant. The video was recorded in 2003 on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by the Russian manned submersible MIR 2. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration featured story . Note: this video contains no audio.Read more

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