Today's Catch

Dec 19, 2012
Credit:

Flickr User Michael Bentley

No two snowflakes are alike. Every snowflake is beautiful in its own way. But this one’s pretty creepy. The snowflake moray eel ( Echidna nebulosa ) has white, black and yellow splotches all over its body, which come together to look like snowflake designs. Moray eels eat their prey in a unique way – with two jaws. The second set of jaws is in their throat, which shoots up and grabs the prey from...Read more
Dec 18, 2012
Credit:

Copyright © 2005 MBARI

This newly-discovered carnivorous sponge ( Chondrocladia lyra ) was found using robotic submersibles operated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute 10,000 feet below the surface in dark waters. It traps small crustacean prey with barbed hooks found along its branch-like limbs. Once it has caught something, the sponge covers it with a thin membrane and the digestion process begins.Read more
Dec 17, 2012
Credit:

Flickr User Len Burgess

The jingle shell ( Anomia simplex ) is a common bivalve found on the Atlantic coast of North America, amongst the more commonly known clams and oysters. As with oysters, the lower shell is glued to a hard surface. Even after the mollusk is dead, the shell keeps its beautiful and shiny exterior. The thin, translucent shells are often used in jewelry, and when strung together can sound like bells,...Read more
Dec 11, 2012
Credit:

Glen Tepke/Marine Photobank

A tufted puffin ( Fratercula cirrhata ) in flight against a gray sky in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands (USA). Puffins are charismatic seabirds that delight wildlife enthusiasts and draw tourists to the islands where they nest. Read more about these remarkable birds at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center .Read more
Nov 21, 2012
Credit:

S. Brooke OIMB

New, white growth emerges from a living deep-sea coral sample that was stained pink, enabling ocean scientists to measure its coral growth rate. Find out more about how ocean scientists study deep-sea corals in our Deep-sea Corals article.Read more
Nov 20, 2012
Credit:

E. Widder, ORCA, www.teamorca.org

This lanternfish ( Diaphus sp .), found in the Red Sea, has light-producing photophores along its ventral surface (belly), and a nasal light organ that acts like a headlight. Hear scientists tell stories about encountering bioluminescent marine animals in the deep sea .Read more
Nov 19, 2012
Credit:

Nico Smit

Isopods (small, shrimp-like animals) like this one ( Gnathia aureusmaculosa ) are the mosquitoes of the sea, sucking the blood of fish while they sleep. Find out more in " No Fouling Around " from the Citizens of the Sea blog series.Read more
Nov 16, 2012
Credit:

©1999 MBARI

The dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis ) is a deep sea animal that lives on the ocean floor at extreme depths of 9,800 to 13,000 feet. They are small animals, around 8 inches tall, and have a pair of fins located on their mantle—their namesake—and webbing between their arms. Grimpoteuthis swim often hover just above the seafloor looking for snails, worms, and other food. Watch rare (and beautiful)...Read more
Nov 15, 2012
Credit:

Jeff Dawson

The feathery strands at the back of this nudibranch’s ( Chromodoris willani ) body are no mere adornment: they’re its gills! Nudibranchs, shell-less snails or sea slugs, are named for these tufted gills, as "nudibranch" comes from Latin and Greek words meaning "naked gills." They're known for their bright coloration , and this species, found in Western Pacific Ocean coral reefs , ranges from dark...Read more
Nov 9, 2012
Credit:

Courtesy of Danielle Dixson, Georgia Institute of Technology

One of the first signs of a sick coral reef is seaweed creeping across the corals, stealing their precious sunny real estate. Healthy corals, however, aren't completely hopeless: in some reefs, small fishes, such as this broad-barred goby ( Gobiodon histrio ), help eat the seaweeds away. But how do corals contact the fish to ask for cleaning services? By sending out a chemical signal .Read more

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