Today's Catch

Jan 8, 2015
In coastal towns and cities, vast areas now inhabited by super markets, houses, roads, parking lots, hotels and schools were once occupied by mangrove forests . Growing out of the ocean and onto the land, mangrove trees serve many important roles. Mangrove forests play host to nurseries for baby fish and shrimp. They ward off climate change by absorbing and storing excess atmospheric carbon...Read more
Jan 7, 2015
Credit:

Bo Pardau, Flickr

The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin that, despite its name, is not closely related to the killer whale, although they are both in the same family, Delphinidae . Instead, it's named for similarities in their skull shapes, as the first false killer whale was described from a fossil in the mid-1800s. They are very social animals and form strong bonds with each...Read more
Jan 6, 2015
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The blue-lined octopus may be small, growing to at most 15 cm, but it can be deadly: its venom can cause breathing failure in humans as well as other animals. Turtles can accidentally consume the octopus when grazing and drown due to the immobilizing toxins. The blue coloring serves as a warning since it only appears when the octopus is aggravated. Even though the blue lined octopus is more...Read more
Jan 5, 2015
Credit:

United States Department of Defense

On March 1, 1954, the United States military tested nuclear bombs in the ocean around Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean to see what kind of damage they would do to ships. The largest explosion was set off 90 feet underwater: nicknamed "Castle Bravo," the bomb blasted a crater 2 kilometers (more than 1.2 miles) wide in the coral reef and obliterated ocean life in the area. Smithsonian scientists...Read more
Jan 2, 2015
Cashes Ledge is an underwater mountain range off the New England coast, which is home to a great diversity of life. Because the rocky and steep peaks almost reach the surface in some areas, it is dangerous for fishermen. As such, they avoided it, and the area became a de facto protected area until 2002, when it was officially closed to fishing by regional managers. Read more about the diversity...Read more
Dec 30, 2014
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The Eastern cleaner-clingfish ( Cochleoceps orientalis ) has its job title in its name: “cleaner.” They prove invaluable to larger fish by removing parasites to keep the larger fish clean and healthy. To do their job, Eastern cleaner-clingfish move by clinging onto different surfaces instead of swimming themselves. They can hold onto kelp or sponges with a strong grip before moving onto a fish...Read more
Dec 29, 2014
Credit:

Flickr User Michael Bentley

No two snowflakes are alike. Every snowflake is beautiful in its own way. But this one’s a bit scary. The snowflake moray eel ( Echidna nebulosa ) has white, black and yellow splotches all over its body, which come together to look like snowflake designs. Moray eels eat their prey in a unique way – with two jaws. The second set of jaws is in their throat, which shoots up and grabs the prey from...Read more
Dec 24, 2014
Credit:

Flickr user Laszlo Ilyes

The festive Christmas tree worm ( Spirobranchus giganteus ) lives on tropical coral reefs and resembles a fluffy fir tree adorned with ornaments. The multi-functional branch-like appendages are used by the worm to breathe and to catch meals of plankton floating by. See more holiday-themed animals !Read more
Dec 23, 2014
Credit:

Neptune Canada

As we dive deeper into winter in the northern hemisphere, the possibility of snow becomes an increasingly frequent topic of conversation. But did you know that the ocean gets a regular dose of ‘marine snow’ year round? The flakes in the ocean are made up of poop from animals, decaying animals and other types of organic matter that slowly make their way to the seafloor—if they aren’t eaten along...Read more
Dec 22, 2014
Credit:

Flickr User Len Burgess

The jingle shell ( Anomia simplex ) is a common bivalve found on the Atlantic coast of North America, amongst the more commonly known clams and oysters. As with oysters, the lower shell is glued to a hard surface. Even after the mollusk is dead, the shell keeps its beautiful and shiny exterior. The thin, translucent shells are often used in jewelry, and when strung together can sound like bells,...Read more

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