Today's Catch

Penguins: Popularity, Peril and Poop

Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin species regularly live and breed in frigid...
An array of teeth from ragged tooth sharks.

Smithsonian Shark Teeth collection

An array of teeth from the sand tiger shark Carcharias taurus . The Smithsonian has the largest collection of shark teeth in the world, with more than 90,000 fossil shark teeth. More about sharks and great whites can be found in our Great White...
Pygmy Seahorse Blends Into its Environment

Eye to Eye With a Pygmy Seahorse

A master of disguise, the pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus bargibanti ) grows to only 2cm in length and matches the gorgonian coral that it lives on. The pygmy seahorse is so successful at hiding that it was not found until its home was being studied in...
10 grains of star shaped sand collected from southern Japan

Star Sand Grains Collected from Southern Japan

These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called foraminifera , which build intricate shells from the...
Two bright orange anemonefish poke their heads between anemone tentacles.

Clownfish in their Host Anemone

Two bright orange anemonefish ( Amphiprion ocellaris ) poke their heads between anemone tentacles. Anemonefish are able to swim amongst the stinging tentacles without getting stung — but no one knows exactly sure how. One dominant theory explains...

Investigating Nutrient Pollution's Impact on Mangroves

At Carrie Bow Cay in Belize , Dr. Candy Feller explains her research on the effect of excess nutrients on mangrove swamps. Feller runs the Animal-Plant Interaction Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. See a photo of a tree-climbing...
A beluga whale

Baby Beluga

Beluga whales are naturally vocal animals. They are often called “ canaries of the sea ” thanks to their wide repertoire of sounds such as whistles, squeals, moos, chirps, and clicks. Some researchers believe they even found a beluga that tried to...
A photo of a candy basslet, an orange and yellow-striped fish.

Candy Basslet

A candy basslet ( Liopropoma carmabi ) was one of the specimens Smithsonian scientists collected from the deep reefs of Curaçao on a 2011 research trip in the southern Caribbean. Learn more about the scientists' research on the Summer in Sub Blog
A pearly razorfish

Pearly Razorfish

The pearly razorfish’s name may be slightly misleading since it is neither as rare as a pearl nor as dangerous as a razor. It is a common fish that tends to live in clear shallow areas near seagrass beds and coral reefs, where it collects coral...

Blue-Green Antarctic Glacier

Looking through this iceberg's reflection in the Antarctic water, you can see the iceberg below the surface—some 90% of its total volume. Icebergs are pieces of freshwater ice broken off of glaciers or ice shelves, left to float across the sea. Many...

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