Today's Catch

Dec 4, 2015
Credit:

Alan D. Wilson

The polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) is found in the Arctic and classified as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This marine mammal can swim more than 30 miles when sea ice has receded due to warm temperatures. Listen to a podcast from Encyclopedia of Life that tells the story of two personal encounters with a polar bear, and find out more about its Arctic home .Read more
Dec 3, 2015
Credit:

Flickr user Bill & Mark Bell

What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more carbon than tropical forests , which means they play an important role in both removing excess carbon from the atmosphere and storing that carbon for the long haul...Read more
Dec 2, 2015
Watch as a team of wave chasers heads to Somoa where they search for an undersea river five kilometers beneath the ocean's surface. There they measured skyscraper-sized internal gravity waves, which break and produce strong turbulence underwater. Understanding these deep waves and flows is critical to understanding more about the Earth's climate and can help to improve climate models. The team is...Read more
Dec 1, 2015
Credit:

Mauritius100, Flickr

When most people think of catfish, they think of a freshwater fish. But the striped eel catfish ( Plotosus lineatus ) is found in marine systems including coral reefs, estuaries, tide pools and other coastal areas of the Indo-Western Pacific. The juveniles of the fish school in groups of up to 100, while the adults tend to stick to themselves or in smaller groups. Watch out for their spines: they...Read more
Nov 30, 2015
Credit:

Paulyn Cartwright et al. 2007 (PLOS ONE) Link

How long have jellyfish lived in the ocean? This jellyfish fossil is from the Cambrian period, more than 500 million years ago. It was found buried in Utah —an area that used to be underwater, covered by the ocean. Fossil jellyfish are rare because they have no bones or other hard parts to turn into fossils. Instead, scientists have to look for so-called "soft fossils," when organisms are quickly...Read more
Nov 25, 2015
Credit:

Chuck Savall

The spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the Atlantic coast. The native Pacific fish probably escaped from an aquarium. Lionfish are aggressive predators and threaten local species. They are also referred to as turkeyfish because depending on...Read more
Nov 24, 2015
Credit:

© Alexander Semenov Link

The Arctic comb jelly or sea nut ( Mertensia ovum ) is commonly found in the surface (top 50 meters) in cold, northern waters. Like other cydippid ctenophores, it has two tentacles fringed with smaller tentacles, which are dappled with colloblasts. Colloblasts are specialized cells that, upon contact with other organisms, act as a glue, allowing the comb jelly to pull the food to its mouth with...Read more
Nov 23, 2015
Credit:

Rob Peatling, Flickr

Instead of females, male seahorses carry the developing seahorse embryos in a kangaroo-like pouch. During mating season, the female deposits her eggs into the pouch, and the male fertilizes them. After about two weeks of development, out pop the seahorse fry, ready to swim off and explore the ocean world. Here is a very pregnant short-snouted seahorse ( Hippocampus breviceps ) in Australia. Read...Read more
Nov 20, 2015
Penguins are odd birds. For one, they cannot fly (but they are amazing swimmers), and, contrary to popular belief, the majority of penguin populations live in warmer regions. Only four of the 18 penguin species regularly live and breed in frigid Antarctica; the rest live in sub-temperate to temperate regions, along the coasts or on islands in the Southern hemisphere. But these beloved birds are...Read more
Nov 19, 2015
Credit:

Ari Friedlaender

Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) can be found in Antarctic waters during the spring and summer in the Southern hemisphere, where they gorge on their main food source: tiny krill. How do they locate the small prey and maneuver their large bodies to eat? Scientists are looking at those questions and using different types of tags to learn more.Read more

Pages