Today's Catch

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.
Crown of Thorns Starfish in the Marianas Islands

Crown of Thorns Starfish

A crown-of-thorns starfish ( Acanthaster planci ) on a reef in the Marianas Islands. An “outbreak” of these coral-eating starfish can decimate a reef, and they have done great damage on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
An adult giant squid battles its only known predator - a sperm whale.

Battle with a Sperm Whale

An adult giant squid struggles for survival in an encounter with a sperm whale - its only known predator. The whale will probably overpower and eat the squid. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid section .
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Hawaiian Monk Seal

The critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal ( Monachus schauinslandi ) is one of hundreds of marine species that can be found cruising the waters of Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest of the main Hawaiian archipelago. Despite living in...
Photograph of a red "jellyfish" with many fine tentacles surrounding the bell and floating against a black background.

Red Jellyfish

Sea jellies such as this one in the genus Benthocodon are commonly seen on or near the seafloor in the Monterey Canyon off central California. Some jellies in this genus feed on animals that live in seafloor sediment. Learn more about life in the...
A photo of a solitary European green crab on a sandy substrate.

European Green Crab (Carcinus maenas)

The European green crab ( Carcinus maenas ) has spread far beyond its native continent, to waters off North and South America, Asia and Australia. It's a voracious eater and poses a nuisance to shellfish farmers. Invasive species have various means...
An unidentified moray eel held in researcher's hands.

A Baby Moray Eel, or a Really Small Adult?

This is an unidentified moray eel , collected from 650 feet off the coast of Curacao. Morays are very secretive animals that tend to stay hidden in caves and crevices. Researchers with the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) don't yet know if this...

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