Today's Catch

Aug 24, 2011
On August 23, 2011 a 5.8 earthquake emanated from the little-known Central Virginia Seismic Zone. The epicenter was near Mineral, VA, but the tremor shook homes, schools, and office buildings in Washington, DC, including Smithsonian Institution buildings, and beyond. In this brief video, Smithsonian educator Catherine Sutera uses a Slinky® to demonstrate two types of seismic waves that people in...Read more
Jul 27, 2011
Credit:

J. Murray Roberts

Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals and explore more about deep-sea corals in the Ocean Portal multimedia feature " Coral Gardens of the Deep Sea ."Read more
Jul 26, 2011
Credit:

© 2004 Smithsonian Institution

Macroscopic algae ( Ventricaria ventricosa ), also known as "bubble algae" or "sea pearl," is widespread algal species that can withstand low light. Each of the bubbles is a single cell, making it one of the largest single-celled organisms known, reaching up to 5 centimeters in diameter. They are often found in mangrove forests , growing on the mangrove roots, and some people consider it a pest.Read more
Jul 11, 2011
Come one, come all! See the amazing, the astonishing, half-animal, half-plant! Journey to Tampa Bay, Florida, where scientist Skip Pierce and one of his students first made a remarkable discovery twenty years ago. Meet Elysia chlorotica, a bright green, solar-powered, algae-slurping sea slug that’s still turning our understanding of the classification of life upside down.Read more
Jun 28, 2011
A polar bear and her cub on the ice
Credit:

Alan D. Wilson, www.naturespicsonline.com

The Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media bring us another installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . In this podcast, host Ari Daniel Shapiro relates two close calls with polar bears. Listen as Heather Cray recalls how, dumped by a storm on a small Arctic island, she got an unexpected wake-up call. And when researcher Steve Amstrup accidentally crashed through the roof of a...Read more
Jun 21, 2011
Credit:

Quincy Dein, Maui, Hawaii, USA www.quincydein.com

“While the shore-break at Makena Beach is notoriously dangerous and powerful, it also makes for some amazing images. On this particular morning I convinced my brother, Forrest, to ride a couple of waves on his boogie board just as the sun came over the crest of Haleakala. Shooting barreling shore-break can be dangerous for both a photographer and his camera, but as this particular wave came in...Read more
Jun 8, 2011
It was a typical summer day in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors were examining the giant squid and marveling at the life-size replica of Phoenix, the right whale . The only thing odd was the high number of blue-clad people milling about. And then surfing-music filled the gallery. The blue crowd began to jam out. A Roundnose Grenadier and orange roughy --...Read more
Jun 3, 2011
June 8th is World Ocean Day- a great time to celebrate all that the ocean does for us and focus on keeping it healthy for future generations. Visit the Ocean Portal's Find Your Blue page to start learning today about how your personal actions affect the ocean and how you can make make small changes to your daily routine to help protect it. You can also learn more by watching footage of sharks...Read more
May 23, 2011
Credit:

Flickr user ianredan

Adaptation is the key word if you are looking to survive in a tide pool, a space that some scientists describe as the most competitive real estate in the ocean. Tide pools are exposed to the water's ebb and flow, and plants and animals must adapt to survive wave turbulence, desiccation stress, predation, and competition for space and food. Not enough real estate on the rocks? Barnacles , sponges...Read more
May 11, 2011
This short video takes you two hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and some 6,600 feet below the water's surface to observe the Dumbo octopus ( Grimpoteuthis bathynectes ). Little is known about this deep-sea creature, but if this footage doesn't inspire a whole cadre of budding teuthologists, we don't know what will.Read more

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