Today's Catch

A soft, yellow coral

Soft Coral

Most “typical” warm water corals found in shallow waters that most people think have a hard skeleton made of calcium carbonate. But some corals are soft-bodied, and instead use crystal plates called sclerites to give their body structure and defend...
Inside the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason.

Views from the ROV Jason

Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so must do all of their observing and collecting using...
What is coral? The answer is coral is an animal. This cutaway diagram of a coral polyp shows the location of its photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, which coral needs to survive.

What Is Coral? A Coral Polyp and Zooxanthellae

What are corals? Corals themselves are animals. But tropical reef-building corals have tiny plant-like organisms living in their tissue. The corals couldn’t survive without these microscopic algae–called zooxanthellae (zo-zan-THELL-ee). This cutaway...
A juvenile Kemp's ridley sea turtle emerges from the nest

Kemp's Ridley Hatchling

Kemp's ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) often emerge from their nests during the day, which is a rare (and dangerous) thing for sea turtle hatchlings! They are the most critically endangered sea turtle species in the world, and have...
A right whale breaches, lifting its huge body out of the water.

North Atlantic Right Whale Breaching

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but scientists estimate that fewer than 450 remain. In the past, they were hunted for their oil and baleen; now they get tangled up in fishing lines, which weaken and eventually...
A bloom of moon jellies.

A Bloom of Moon Jellies

In recent years, blooms of jellyfish, such as these moon jellies ( Aurita aurita ) in the Chesapeake Bay, have become more common around the world for a number of different reasons . One result of these blooms is that there is less food for fish and...
Two Southern Resident killer whales.

Southern Resident Killer Whales

Orcas (also counterintuitively referred to as both “killer whales” and “sea pandas” because of their ruthless hunting and similar coloring to the cuddly bamboo-eaters) serve as a symbol for the conservation of all species. The Southern Resident...

Turning Nets Into Carpet

There are many plastic nets floating in the world's ocean. Some of them were lost at sea by fishers; others were discarded overboard when they ripped or became tangled. Regardless, once they are adrift, they catch and kill many sea creatures that...

Video of Cirrate Octopod aka Dumbo Octopus

This octopod is sometimes called a “Dumbo” octopod because its fins resemble the ears of Disney’s Dumbo the elephant. The video was recorded in 2003 on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge by the Russian manned submersible MIR 2. More about deep ocean exploration...
Superheated magma slowly leaks from a crack in the seafloor.

Superheated Magma Underwater

Superheated magma, about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, glows orange as it slowly leaks from cracks along the six-mile long active rift zone of the West Mata Volcano in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. The slow-leaking magma doesn't erupt, but bubbles out...

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