Today's Catch

Dec 2, 2013
Credit:

James Watt

The critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal ( Monachus schauinslandi ) is one of hundreds of marine species that can be found cruising the waters of Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest of the main Hawaiian archipelago. Despite living in protected habitat, Hawaiian monk seals frequently become entangled in fishermen's nets, threatening their survival. It's estimated that only around 1...Read more
Nov 26, 2013
Credit:

©2002 MBARI

Sea jellies such as this one in the genus Benthocodon are commonly seen on or near the seafloor in the Monterey Canyon off central California. Some jellies in this genus feed on animals that live in seafloor sediment. Learn more about life in the deep sea in the Deep Ocean Exploration section.Read more
Nov 19, 2013
Credit:

Filip Nuyttens, World Register of Marine Species

The European green crab ( Carcinus maenas ) has spread far beyond its native continent, to waters off North and South America, Asia and Australia. It's a voracious eater and poses a nuisance to shellfish farmers. Invasive species have various means of reaching new habitats. Read about the role ships play in spreading invasive species .Read more
Nov 18, 2013
Credit:

Trish Mace, Smithsonian Institution

This is an unidentified moray eel , collected from 650 feet off the coast of Curacao. Morays are very secretive animals that tend to stay hidden in caves and crevices. Researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) don't yet know if this is a young eel, or a small full-grown one. By analyzing this moray's DNA and comparing it to DNA from known morays in the Caribbean, they will...Read more
Nov 15, 2013
Credit:

Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution

Where ocean currents were strong, ancient rudist “recliners” lay unattached on the seabed. Notice the pink tentacles, which were used to filter feed. Learn more about ocean life throughout deep time in our Ocean Over Time interactive or an image gallery .Read more
Nov 14, 2013
Credit:

K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA

Light refracts off the comb-rows of the Mertensia ovum , a ctenophore , producing stripes of rainbow colors . The jelly eats copepods and small crustaceans that become stuck to its sticky tentacles. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.Read more
Nov 12, 2013
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

When they get larger, Portunus sayi are formidable predators, quick to consume any smaller animal that comes within reach. Fish, other crustaceans, and even smaller members of their own species are not safe from this hungry sargassum swimming crab. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the minuscule animals...Read more
Nov 6, 2013
Credit:

Tony Brown, Flickr

The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty. They are curious fish that will come and greet their human visitors. However this unique coloring is not shared with all ages. Young emperor angelfish have such a different color scheme than the adults that they are easily mistaken for a different species. They also act differently: young fish may also take up a job as a...Read more
Oct 31, 2013
Credit:

© David Shale

This lizardfish ( Bathysaurus ferox ) rests on the ocean bottom with its head slightly elevated—waiting to snatch prey with its large mouth and sharp teeth. It lives at depths of 600-3,500 meters (1,969-11,483 feet) and grows up to 64 centimeters (25.2 inches) long. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in the Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
Oct 10, 2013
Credit:

Richard Ling / www.rling.com

Squids, octopuses and cuttlefish, such as this Australian Giant Cuttlefish ( Sepia apama ), compose just one group of animals that call seagrass beds home. Clams and worms bury themselves in the mud or sandy ground. Anemones, sponges, algae and bacteria grow on seagrass blades. Many different fishes hide among the grass, while manatees and green turtles graze. It's estimated that a single square...Read more

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