Today's Catch

Jul 11, 2013
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon , a resident of Maryland. The artist showcased his craft for visitors at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History during a May 2011 event in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month . Kwon works on scales small and large; one of his brushes is some four feet tall and he's created one...Read more
Jul 10, 2013
Credit:

Barry Brown/Substation Curacao

When this tusk shell was brought up from the deep reef, it was a surprise when a hermit crab poked out! Notice the hermit crab's large claw that it can use to tightly cover the shell opening when it retracts into the shell. Dr. Rafael Lemaitre, NMNH curator of decapod Crustacea , has identified this hermit crab as Pylopagurus discoidalis . In the past, deep-sea animals like this one could only be...Read more
Jul 9, 2013
Credit:

Art Howard

Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so must do all of their observing and collecting using monitors and joysticks from land. This NOAA expedition to study deep-sea corals took place in November 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast...Read more
Jul 8, 2013
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light rarely reaches those depths, and most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to see red. The long, complex tentacles of this unidentified comb jelly (Order Cydippia) have sticky cells that can snag prey, and then retract. Learn more about comb jellies and click through a slideshow of deep ocean animals .Read more
Jun 28, 2013
Credit:

Edy Setyawan

A smasher mantis shrimp came out from its burrow on a fringing reef adjacent to the USS Liberty ship wreck in Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia at a depth of 6 meters. The smashers use their raptorial claw to break their food, like clams. Mantis shrimps have good vision as their eyes have 16 photo-receptors to recognize prey and avoid predators.Read more
Jun 7, 2013
"We too are sea creatures," entreats ocean explorer Sylvia Earle in this beautiful short film, which calls for protecting the ocean and, in particular, for ending destructive fishing practices. It's estimated that we've lost on the order of 90% of many of the ocean's big fishes, such as tuna, sharks, and cod, through overfishing what was once considered a limitless resource. Today, people still...Read more
May 23, 2013
Credit:

John Wang, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research

Sea turtles may have survived the planetary changes that killed the dinosaurs, but now they are threatened by fisheries. It's estimated that some 4,600 sea turtles are killed by fishing nets and hooks every year in U.S. waters. But off the coast of Mexico, one community is trying something different: hanging lights on their nets so turtles can avoid them. They've found a 50% reduction in turtle...Read more
May 9, 2013
For two months, Cassandra Brooks , a marine scientist with Stanford University, travelled on an ice-breaking ship through the Ross Sea in the Antarctica—and she filmed the whole thing. A camera hooked to the front of the ship recorded the ship’s travels, and the ever-changing sea ice. Sea ice isn’t just a solid layer covering the water’s surface. Sometimes the ice looks like shining glass...Read more
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

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