Today's Catch

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
May 10, 2011
Credit:

Jeffrey T. Williams/Smithsonian Institution

Some fish you can fry up in the pan, no questions asked. Others require a bit of research. Case in point: the puffer fish. Commonly known as fugu, some species contain toxins more deadly than cyanide. The Indo-Pacific puffer Lagocephalus cf. suezensis (pictured here) is among the more toxic. Ensuring that only the safe puffers make it to market is of concern to the U.S. Food and Drug...Read more
May 9, 2011
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

"The ocean is essential to all" is one of the Ocean Literacy Principles , and it seems to look more arresting when written in Korean calligraphy than it does in any computer font. Artist Myoung-Won Kwon shared his talents during a visit to the National Museum of Natural History. Kwon was one of many artists who participated in a May 2011 Smithsonian event celebrating Asian Pacific American...Read more
May 5, 2011
Credit:

Mary Parrish

Rachel Caauwe was one of a dozen artists who spent a recent Saturday sketching specimens from the Smithsonian's musky-scented marine mammal collection . Here she's shown drawing the remains of a harbor seal ( Phoca vitulina ). The workshop, organized by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators , focused on larger whales. "I was quite overwhelmed by the scale of some of the specimens," said...Read more
Apr 26, 2011
The Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media bring us a new installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . Vacuumed up from its habitat a mile down in the ocean, the red paper lantern jelly may not look like much. Mostly water, it’s so fragile that once brought to the surface it’s reduced to a tattered blob in a jar. But this unassuming jellyfish has lessons for scientists. It’s...Read more
Apr 13, 2011
Credit:

Christine Meng

Kids wax poetic in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. To celebrate National Poetry Month, visitors on April 9, 2011 were invited to pen a haiku to the ocean blue. Seven-year-old Christine Meng--a true poet--took some creative liberties and expanded the form in a visual direction . To see more poems authored by children, read the "comments" section . Inspired? Submit...Read more
Apr 5, 2011
Credit:

Andy (Flickr user amell)

Much of the carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere ends up in the ocean. As CO 2 levels rise, seawater becomes more acidic. This change in chemistry poses a serious threat to marine organisms including snails, corals , such as in the above photo showing a single bleached polyp, and fish. In the April 2011 issue of National Geographic , writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells the story of how...Read more
Mar 31, 2011
Credit:

Mark Cosgriff/Marine Photobank

A polar bear ( Ursus maritimus) in Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba, Canada smelling the scent of humans while waiting for sea ice to form on of the Hudson Bay. There are several human threats endangering polar bear populations; over harvesting, human development and loss of sea ice due to climate change are all reducing the bear's numbers and habitat. Teens are currently working to...Read more
Feb 17, 2011
Credit:

University of Cyprus

This over 2,000-year-old shipwreck in Mazotas, Cyprus, was discovered in 2007. The ship was loaded with wine from Chios, one of the most expensive and sought-after Greek wines in antiquity. The University of Cyprus, in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and the THETIS Foundation, organized theRead more
Feb 17, 2011
Credit:

Matthew D Potenski, MDP Photography/Marine Photobank

Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands strong in the path of a backhoe dredging a lagoon. Mangroves, which provide habitat to diverse marine life and protect shorelines from storms and erosion, are disappearing at an alarming rate...Read more

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