Today's Catch

Jul 30, 2012

Joseph Poupin, Institut de Recherche de l'Ecole Naval

Male fiddler crabs, like this one collected on Moorea, wave their enlarged claw as way of signaling to other crabs, especially during mating season. Learn more about the Island of Moorea in the Pacific Ocean, including its biodiversity and the scientific effort to catalog all the life found on its land and in its waters.Read more
Jul 27, 2012

R. Hopcroft, UAF, Hidden Ocean 2005, NOAA

Found in Arctic waters, this rare deep-water species of larvacean , Oikopleura gorskyi , eats by filtering particles from the seawater it drifts through. Larvaceans build 'houses' around themselves made of protein that helps them filter the water even better. And when the filters in its house get clogged, the plankter sheds its house and builds a new one. The larvacean in this picture, however,...Read more
Jul 20, 2012
Dr. Clyde Roper discusses the fascinating anatomy of the giant squid ( Architeuthis dux) in this excerpt of "Eyeball to Eyeball," an episode of Errol Morris' First Person television series. Watch Architeuthis and Eyeball to Eyeball , other excerpts from the series, to learn more about the giant squid , and read Dr. Roper's blog post about his past expeditions to find the large cephalopod.Read more
Jul 18, 2012
Credit:© Morne Hardenberg
It's hard to imagine a 2000-pound animal launching itself out of the water while hunting, but the great white shark does just that. This spectacular behavior is called breaching, and great white sharks breach in order to catch fast-moving prey like seals. Swimming fast at the surface, sharks can reach 40 miles per hour and fly 10 feet into the air; however, breaching is relatively rare because...Read more
Jul 16, 2012

Joan Lederman

Massachusetts ceramics artist Joan Lederman glazes her work —including this bowl—with deep sea sediments. Some contain tiny single-celled organisms called foraminifera. Lederman has noticed that sediments with foraminifera often make branching patterns—like the ones you see on this bowl. “I hear and feel forams roll off the sediment-filled brush,” says Lederman. More about deep ocean exploration...Read more
Jul 3, 2012

Projeto Tamar Brazil/Marine Photobank

A fishing line with bait on the hook intended for tuna and other big fish is also a tasty snack for other animals such as this albatross, which drowned after being accidentally caught on a longline near Brazil. And it's a big problem. A 2003 study found that 300,000 birds are being killed each year by fisheries as bycatch, of which 100,000 are albatrosses. Fishermen are working with scientists to...Read more
Jun 6, 2012

Pedro Carrillo/Nature’s Best Photography

I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from the 2010 Nature's Best Ocean Views photo contest.Read more
Jun 5, 2012

The Rakefish Project

This four-foot long fish sculpture was created by art students at A.W. Cox Elementary School in Guilford, CT. The purpose of the Rakefish Project is to raise awareness of marine litter among elementary school children as it travels to schools throughout the United States - from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii. Students covered the surface of the rakefish with single word responses and questions that...Read more
Jun 4, 2012

Michael Vecchione/NOAA

The yellow bioluminescent ring on this female octopus ( Bolitaena pygmaea ) may attract mates. Bioluminescence is an important adaptation that helps many deep sea animals survive in their dark world. More about deep ocean exploration can be found in our Deep Ocean Exploration section .Read more
May 30, 2012

Joseph Poupin, Institut de Recherche de l'Ecole Naval

Hermit crabs, like this one collected in Moorea, usually protect their soft, vulnerable abdomens from predators by reusing empty snail shells. They are picky home owners and they will trade shells with other crabs to get a better fit or a less damaged shell. This specimen shows the crab without its customary borrowed shelter. Learn more in our Scientists Catalog Life on the Island of Moorea...Read more