Today's Catch

Jun 13, 2014
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

Sargassum fluitans , a.k.a. “Gulfweed,” forms dense clumps up to the size of a beach ball that slowly rotate as they drift. The fronds are quite dense, but if you look carefully, sometimes you can see hints of the rich community that hides in the floating sargassum. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the...Read more
Jun 12, 2014
Credit:

Britta Monaco/Marine Photobank

Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash. While the western coastline of Bonaire is mostly pristine, lots of plastic debris from other Caribbean islands and South America washes up on the eastern shore after being carried by currents. This...Read more
Jun 11, 2014
Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-to-Energy Program is reducing the effects of marine debris on the ocean and keeping shorelines clean. Explore other videos that capture the beauty and mystery of the ocean realm at NOAA Ocean Today .Read more
Jun 10, 2014
Credit:

© Alexander Semenov Link

Stinging cells (nematocysts) line the tentacles of this moon jelly ( Aurelia aurita ). Upon contact with prey or a predator, a venom-laden harpoon shoots out to stun or kill. Read more about jellyfish anatomy in our jellyfish and comb jellies overview page .Read more
Jun 9, 2014
Credit:

Jose Alejandro Alvarez

The larger fish in this picture are called sweetlips ( Plectorhinchus ) because of their big, fleshy lips. There are over thirty species of sweetlips, which tend to live on coral reefs in small groups. “On an afternoon dive, I spotted a small group of sweetlips in the current among a shoal of juvenile convict blennies. It took me some time to get close to the fish without spooking them. I took...Read more
Jun 6, 2014
Credit:

Jeff Gage/Florida Museum of Natural History

This well-preserved fossil is the only intact partial skull ever found of a white shark that lived about 6.5 million years ago called Carcharodon hubbelli . The fossil jaw contains 222 teeth, some in rows up to six teeth deep, and may provide evidence that modern day great white sharks evolved from the ancestors of mako sharks, not the megalodon.Read more
Jun 5, 2014
Credit:

Lovell and Libby Langstroth © California Academy of Sciences

The spiral-tufted bryozoan ( Bugula neritina ) is being studied for a potential Alzheimer's disease and cancer drug -- but it's not the bryozoan that makes the chemical. The chemical, found in the bryozoan's tissues, is produced by its bacterial endosymbiont, Candidatus Endobugula sertula . In exchange for a protective home in the bryozoan's tissues, the bacteria produces a chemical called a...Read more
Jun 4, 2014
Credit:

Brian Skerry, National Geographic

Red Pigfish ( Bodianus unimaculatus ) and Blue Mao-Mao ( Scorpis violacea ) school at the edge of a cavern in New Zealand's Poor Knights Islands. Read photographer Brian Skerry's story behind this photo on the Ocean Portal blog.Read more
Jun 3, 2014
Credit:

Maggie D. Johnson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Many species of pink coralline algae cover a reef surface in the Southern Line Islands. Often unnoticed, these pink algae crusts help to cement coral reefs together, providing extra support and habitat for animals that live on reefs. Unhealthy coral reefs are often home to fast-growing seaweeds that cover and smother the slow-growing coralline algae. In the Southern Line Islands, however, the...Read more
Jun 2, 2014
Credit:

Scott Hamilton

The twin-spot snapper ( Lutjanus bohar ) is one of the more curious predators in the central Pacific, says marine ecologist Stuart Sandin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "It poses commonly for the camera but is also immediately on-hand whenever there is an opportunity to eat." These fish (also called bohars) are top predators on the reef, eating a variety of fishes, shrimps, crabs,...Read more

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