Today's Catch

Nov 1, 2010
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning about the Raven Spirit Canoe , a craft that was carved in Alaska by master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlinget Nation. The Sealaska Heritage Institute brought the canoe to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, where members of the Native community officially named the canoe and launched it in the Potomac River. The craft...Read more
Oct 25, 2010
a bowhead whale and her calf, seen from above
Credit:

David Rugh, National Marine Mammal Lab, NOAA

In the episode of One Species at a Time , writer Karen Romano Young takes an icebreaker to Barrow, Alaska, to join in the festival of Naluqatak and learn about the intimate relationship between the Inupiat Eskimos and the bowhead whale ( Balaena mysticetus ). Listen as she tells Ari Daniel Shapiro how the whole community turns out for whale hunt, how the bowhead nourishes the Inupiat, both...Read more
Oct 3, 2010
Credit:

David Burdick/NOAA Photo Library

What is this bizarre, spiky-looking organism? Hint: it can be found in tropical areas of the Pacific and Indian ocean basins crawling slowly over coral reefs and devouring any living coral polyps that it encounters. “Outbreaks” of this organism can devastate entire reef systems. Click here to reveal the answer .Read more
Sep 19, 2010
Credit:

Britta Monaco/Marine Photobank

Marine debris--or trash that has washed or been dumped into our ocean and coastal areas--is not only unsightly but can also pose a serious hazard for humans and marine life. On Bonaire, beach-goers made a trash sculpture from debris that came from as far away as South Africa. Make your own statement against marine debris by joining the annual International Coastal Clean-Up at a location near you...Read more
Sep 10, 2010
Caribbean boulder star coral (Montastrea cavernosa)
Credit:

NOAA

Each month, the Naked Oceans podcast invites a leading marine researcher to pick the "critter of the month" by asking: if you were a marine organism, which one would you be? This month, Dr. Nancy Knowlton , the Sant Chair for Marine Science at NMNH makes her pick: the Caribbean boulder star coral (Montastrea cavernosa) . Catch to the full podcast (and more episodes) on the Naked Oceans website .Read more
Aug 18, 2010
Credit:

©2002 MBARI

Marine biologists from MBARI nicknamed this startlingly large jellyfish—which grows over one meter (three feet) in diameter—"big red." It would be hard to miss, except that it lives at depths of 650 to 1,500 meters (2,000 to 4,800 feet). Big red uses four to seven fleshy "feeding arms" instead of stinging tentacles to capture food and has been observed off the west coast of North America, Baja...Read more
Aug 10, 2010
a marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus
Credit:

© Petr Baum

No iguana wants to be cooked alive on a hot rock and then served up as dinner for a Galapagos hawk. But it turns out the marine iguanas ( Amblyrhynchus cristatus ) have a strategy that warns them of the presence of hawks they can’t see. They learned to tune in to a kind of police scanner…the alarm calls of mockingbirds.Read more
Jul 29, 2010
Credit:

© Oceana

Using a deep-diving ROV, the crew aboard Oceana’s research vessel Ranger were surprised to discover large colonies of deep-sea white coral in the Western Mediterranean Sea in July 2010. Most of the Mediterranean’s deep-sea coral reefs are already gone as a result of destructive fishing techniques such as bottom trawling.Read more
Jul 14, 2010
Mangroves abut blue ocean waters.
Credit:

Eric Punkay/Marine Photobank

Follow researchers Candy Feller and Dennis Whigham from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as they scramble, climb, crawl, and creep through the tangled roots of a mangrove forest. In this episode of the Podcast of Life , learn what’s threatening these unique ecosystems where the ocean meets the land. Studying these flooded forests is a challenge, but pursuing science in this strange...Read more
Jul 9, 2010
Credit:

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington, D.C.

The arrows show the direction of ocean currents recorded by William Dampier while crossing “La Grande Mer du Sud”—the Pacific Ocean. The map appeared in Dampier’s second book, Voyages and Descriptions, published in early 1699.Read more

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