Today's Catch

Jan 26, 2012
Credit:

Carl Buell/http://carlbuell.com/

Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs . Currently, only a single species of seacow is found anywhere in the world. However, the fossil record of seacows, which dates back 50 million years, tells a different story. Researchers from Howard University and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History documented three instances in the geologic...Read more
Jan 26, 2012
Credit:

Charles Paull c. 2003 MBARI

Geologist Charles Paull (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) investigates geologic features similar to pingos (Earth covered ice mounds found in the Arctic) on the Arctic Ocean floor where methane—a powerful greenhouse gas—bubbles through sediments and forms hundreds of low hills. Read an MBARI feature story “Of Pingos and Pockmarks” and find out more about Charles Paull’s research .Read more
Jan 12, 2012
A white, elongated, and whorled wentletrap shell, seen from two angles.
Credit:

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

Ari Daniel Shapiro is joined for this episode of One Species at a Time by serious beachcombers along the high-tide line of Sanibel Island, Florida. These “shellers” come in search of beautiful sea shells, sometimes no bigger than a grain of rice, that are the remains of marine snails, bivalves, and other mollusks. Along the beach and at the island's Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum , we learn why...Read more
Dec 16, 2011
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "Line W" program is conducting research to better understand how the oceans and the atmosphere work together to cause, and are affected by, climate variability on the earth. Since 2001, a set of moored instruments and repeated research cruises across the Gulf Stream have helped form an unprecedented view of ocean circulation in a crucial part of the...Read more
Dec 16, 2011
“Sea grapes” may sound like something Poseidon would snack on, and not a killer algae. Yet Caulerpa racemosa var. cylindracea poses a serious threat to marine life. Spread by the bilge water of boats , this fast-growing alga is quick to take root, squeezing out native species. But there is one spot in the Mediterranean where cylindracea hasn’t yet taken over, and biologists like Juan Manuel Ruiz...Read more
Nov 1, 2011
Credit:

Danee Hazama

"This World of Ours, Does not feel steady, We keep rotating, Oi! What will happen to us?" This is one of the questions that a group of performers from the Pacific island of Tuvalu is posed to audiences across the United States in 2011. With the Water is Rising project, they hoped to draw attention to threats associated with climate change , including sea-level rise, through dance , song, and...Read more
Oct 27, 2011
A photo of the cliffs at Mistaken Point, in Newfoundland
Credit:

Helen Goodchild, Flickr User "Goodhen"

When the cod fishery collapsed in Newfoundland in the early 1990s, the hopes of the local fish harvesters collapsed with it. Hundreds of Newfoundlanders moved away and businesses that depended on the cod fishery closed. But retired schoolteacher Kit Ward of Portugal Cove South wasn’t content to watch her community vanish. She and some friends found a solution that was right under their feet, in...Read more
Sep 30, 2011
Credit:

D. Rubilar Rogers

Smithsonian curator of fossil marine mammals Nick Pyenson and a team of collaborators are heading into Chile's Atacama Desert , shown here. They'll study a rich bonebed of fossil marine vertebrates that lived off the Chilean coast around 8 million years ago. The bonebed was once a seafloor that preserved the skeletons of many familiar marine animals that live offshore Chile today, as well as...Read more
Sep 21, 2011
Credit:

Flickr User Mouser NerdBot

There are different types of beaches and multiple factors that influence the formation of sand. Many beaches may look alike, but they are actually very different from each other. Wave patterns, geology, and other factors shape the composition, size, texture, and color of sand. Grains can be big or small, rough or smooth, glittery or dull, and made of light shells or dark minerals. The sand...Read more
Sep 20, 2011
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

Earth’s first animals had soft bodies. This illustration shows a community of soft-bodied Ediacaran (edi-A-karan) animals. Some species resemble living ocean creatures. Others are unlike any known organisms and cannot be classified. Scientists have found fossils of these fauna in sedimentary rocks worldwide. Explore the ancient ocean in an image gallery or in our Ocean Over Time interactive .Read more

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