Today's Catch

Oct 8, 2013
Credit:

Wikimedia user Beckmannjan

This common octopus ( Octopus vulgaris ) doesn't have a jetpack to help him zoom through the water, but he's got something pretty close: a siphon that shoots water. (It's the little orange/yellow cup in the picture.) Octopuses pull water into their mantle cavities and then squeeze it out through the siphon (also called a funnel) at the front of their mantles to both swim and steer.Read more
Oct 3, 2013
Most lobsters are a mottled brown color, but sometimes you can see a strange orange or blue lobster. And then, when lobsters are cooked, they turn bright red. Why is there such a rainbow of lobster colors? As explained in this video from the American Chemical Society, lobsters eat a red pigment in their plant food called astanxanthin, which helps protect them against stress. This pigment is...Read more
Sep 30, 2013
Credit:

Brian Skerry

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 imitate human voices ! Their smiling appearance and communicative nature make belugas very charismatic animals. Though young belugas are gray or brown...Read more
Sep 24, 2013
Credit:

New England Aquarium, Photographer Philip Hamilton

Whalers hunted right whales for their blubber, which could be turned into oil to burn in lamps or make soap, and their baleen. Baleen is the series of fringed plates hanging in their mouths that they use to strain the seawater for food. Baleen was used in a number of consumer products, such as corsets. Here, a researcher examines the baleen from a whale that washed up on the beach. More about the...Read more
Sep 23, 2013
Credit:

John Turnbull, Flickr

Is that fruit swimming in the ocean? Well it may look like fruit, but it's actually a pineapplefish ( Cleidopus gloriamaris ). Like the hard outer part of a pineapple, this fish also has an outer shell made of pineapple-like yellow scales. But that is where the similarity to the fruit disappears. The pineapplefish has glowing organs that can be used to find prey at night, the color of which may...Read more
Sep 20, 2013
Credit:

©Clyde F.E. Roper

These newly hatched arrow squid larvae ( Doryteuthis plei ) are each tinier than the head a pin. Free from their yolk sac, they will drift with the current out to sea as zooplankton. Many animals eat zooplankton, so few will survive to adulthood and to reproduce themselves.Read more
Sep 19, 2013
Some of the most otherworldly animals—like those straight from a science fiction story—can be seen in the open ocean at night. By drifting in the blackwater in a scuba suit just under the surface, some 60 to 70 feet below, divers can film some of these bizarre animals. In this video, see a pyrosome , a free-floating colonial tunicate, comb jellies (aka ctenophores) with their sticky tentacles,...Read more
Sep 18, 2013
Credit:

© Brian Skerry, www.brianskerry.com

A blue cod and sea pens , a unique type of cnidarian , speckle the seafloor in New Zealand's Fiordland region.You can see more beautiful underwater photos from Brian Skerry in his image gallery .Read more
Sep 17, 2013
Watch the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall come to life in this two minute time lapse video. The Sant Ocean Hall is the National Museum of Natural History's largest exhibit, providing visitors with a unique and breathtaking introduction to the majesty of the ocean. The hall's combination of 674 marine specimens and models, high-definition video, and the newest technology allows visitors to explore...Read more
Sep 16, 2013
Credit:

Travis S., Flickr

The lion’s mane jellyfish ( Cyanea capillata ) is the largest among the jelly species, with the largest known specimen stretching across 120 feet (36.5 meters) from its top to the bottom of its tentacles. These tentacles contain large amounts of neurotoxins that can cause a range of effects when humans come in contact, from a rash to affecting respiratory function. Humans don't often come in...Read more

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