Today's Catch

A thresher shark uses its unusual tail fin for swimming and hunting.

The Thrashing Thresher Shark

A thresher shark’s long tail fin helps not only its swimming ability, but also its ability to hunt. It can use the fin to herd and trap schooling fish by swimming in increasingly smaller circles before striking the fish with its tail. This strike...
A Greenland shark photographed in the St. Lawrence Estuary, near Baie-Comeau, Quebec

Greenland Shark: One Species at a Time

Scientists know the Greenland shark ( Somniosus microcephalus ) moves slowly in the Arctic's cold water. They also know that parasites attack the shark's eyes. But much about this animal remains a mystery. Marine biologist Greg Skomal says that's...

Frilled Shark

Is it an enormous eel? No—it's a shark! The frilled shark is named for its strange appearance , including a snakelike body, three pronged teeth, and gills that give the impression of a frilly collar. However, this collar does not mean these sharks...

Cleaning Bonaire's Beaches

Bonaire, a small Caribbean island just north of Venezuela, is routinely ranked as a top diving destination in the world. But there's something getting in the way of beautiful dives: plastic trash. While the western coastline of Bonaire is mostly...

Recycled Fishing Gear Converted into Energy

Instead of adding castaway fishing nets to already crowded landfills, Hawaii’s multi-partner marine debris group has developed a method of converting marine debris into usable electricity. The Nets-to-Energy Program is reducing the effects of marine...
This colony of <em>Rosacea</em> may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a large group of smaller siphonophores clustered and living together.

Jellyfish, or Siphonophore Colony?

This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a large group of smaller siphonophores clustered and living together. In fact, the zooids (individual siphonophores living in the colony) cannot survive on their own. This...

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred on March 24, 1989 when an oil tanker grounded on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. It spilled almost 11 million gallons of crude oil, which reached 1,300 miles of coastline. The spill's remote location,...

Lemon Shark, Offshore Grand Bahamas Island

At night this lemon shark ( Negaprion brevirostris ) lurks at the surface, but often during the day they will lie on the ocean bottom. This behavior had been thought to save them energy, but in reality it takes energy for the shark to push water...
X-ray image of a winghead shark

X-Ray Image of a Winghead Shark

The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its wide, T-shaped head, giving it superb binocular...
An adult and juvenile killer whale frolic in the water.

Killer Whales Swimming

Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) have something in common with humans: early menopause. Read Smithsonian marine scientist Nancy Knowlton's blog post to find out more.

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