Today's Catch

May 3, 2013
Credit:

Patrick Decaluwe / Guylian Seahorses of the World 2010, Courtesy of Project Seahorse.

There are 47 different species of seahorses and 14 of those were discovered in the last eight years, including Pontoh's pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus pontohi ), which was officially named in 2008. Seahorses’ ability to change their color and shape to blend in with their environment makes identification of individual species challenging. Because of this, some researchers previously thought there...Read more
May 2, 2013
Credit:

Bastian Bentlage

This venomous box jelly ( Chiropsalmus quadrumanus ) was collected off the coast of South Carolina. The specimen now resides in the Smithsonian’s marine collection . It's venomous sting can be lethal, especially to small children. Listen to Podcast of Life: Box Jellies and check out the jellyfish and comb jellies overview to learn more about jellies.Read more
May 1, 2013
Credit:

Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution

These "elevator" rudists, an ancient bivalve , used one long heavy valve to anchor themselves in the sediment. They used their tentacles (shown here in pink) to filter food from the sea water. Discover more about the ancient ocean at our feature Ocean Over Time .Read more
Apr 30, 2013
Dr. Francisco Chavez of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute estimates that a million tons of CO 2 enter the ocean hourly. His studies in Peru explore the phenomenon of ocean acidification , which occurs when waters have high concentrations of CO 2 . More about world climate change can be found in our Climate Change featured story .Read more
Apr 26, 2013
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 crab and some of the other animals that make these coastal ecosystems their home in our Mangrove section .Read more
Apr 24, 2013
How will changes in temperature affect glaciers and ice sheets? Dr. Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explores this phenomenon first hand in Greenland, where she studies how the melted ice travels through glaciers and out to the sea. Learn more about climate change .Read more
Apr 22, 2013
Credit:

Flickr User dolanh

When it comes to many of our once-favorite seafoods, there aren't always plenty more fish in the sea. In fact, some studies estimate that up to 90 percent of large predatory fish (those that eat other animals—and usually end up on our dinner plates) have disappeared since humans began heavy fishing. You can help turn the tide by demanding sustainable seafood at the supermarket and in your...Read more
Apr 15, 2013
Credit:

Rod Strachan/Nature's Best Photography

These cute Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae ) are actually having a bit of a spat. In the spring (October for them), the penguins form breeding colonies on rocky coasts with thousands of birds in a group. Krill, a tiny crustacean, is the penguins' main food source, but krill populations are being affected by climate change and the Adélie penguin populations are decreasing as a result. “This...Read more
Apr 10, 2013
Credit:

James Watt, USFWS Pacific

Check out the eyes on these Hawaiian squirrelfish ( Sargocentron xantherythrum )! Because squirrelfish are almost entirely nocturnal, they need big eyes to absorb as much moonlight and starlight as they can in the dark. During the day, they hide out in the nooks and crannies of tropical coral reefs. To defend its small hiding place, the squirrelfish grunts by grinding its teeth and stretching the...Read more
Mar 28, 2013
Credit:

Tobias Friedrich/Nature's Best Photography

Gray reef sharks ( Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos ) are known for being active at night. They are considered Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List due to fishing and the loss of their coral reef habitat. The sinister animal, with its sleek body, can be quite aggressive when directly threatened. “It was shaping up to be a bad night dive when my mask broke and I was forced to come up early. The others...Read more

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