Today's Catch

Dec 31, 2012
Credit:

©Mason Weinrich, Whale Center of New England

A right whale opens its mouth wide, revealing huge plates of baleen hanging from its upper jaw. There are between 200 and 270 baleen plates on each side of a right whale's upper jaw. They work like a giant sieve to catch the whale's food. Strong but flexible, baleen is made of the same substance as your fingernails - keratin. Discover more about this species in A Tale of A Whale , a photo essay...Read more
Dec 28, 2012
Credit:

Spencer Wright

The pinecone fish ( Monocentris japonicus ) looks like the real thing on land—covered in large scales with a dark trim. They are found lurking in caves and under ledges in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, and are a popular aquarium fish.Read more
Dec 25, 2012
Credit:

Nick Hobgood

This forest of Christmas tree worms is a group of polychaete worms that live on tropical coral reefs. See more celebratory ocean creatures in our slideshow!Read more
Dec 21, 2012
Credit:

Jerry Kirkhart

Ever heard of a cookie-cutter shark ( Isistius brasiliensis )? They look like your average shark —sort of menacing and streamlined—but their name comes from how they feed. They eat smaller animals (like squid) whole, but also take large, round cookie-cutter shaped bites out of larger animals, such as tuna, whales, dolphins, and seals (which you can see in this picture of an elephant seal). They...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 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

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