Today's Catch

May 11, 2010
Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems.

Konstantin Tkachenko/Marine Photobank

Coral reefs are bustling cities of marine life, until rising ocean temperatures turn them into ghost towns. Can reefs spring back from devastating bleaching events? In this episode of the Podcast of Life , Ari Daniel Shapiro and researcher Dr. Randi Rotjan of the New England Aquarium, journey to the remote Phoenix Islands to find out.Read more
May 7, 2010

NOAA/NEFSC/Peter Duley collected under Permit #775-1875

Phoenix – our favorite North Atlantic Right Whale – was spotted feeding this week off the coast of New Hampshire! Researchers track these highly endangered whales (there are only about 450 of them left) very closely and use their skin markings to confirm sightings. The New England Aquarium keeps the catalog that records the life stories of these whales.Read more
Apr 2, 2010
A bonaire banded box jellyfish, Tamoya ohboya

Ned DeLoach

In this episode of the Podcast of Life , learn how three fiery, painful stings during an early morning swim in Hawaii changed the life of researcher Angel Yanagihara. Once the young biochemist had recovered from her box jelly encounter, Carybdea alata had her full attention. Now she works to unlock the secrets of venom of these beautiful, and sometimes dangerous, angels of the sea.Read more
Mar 26, 2010
Drilling near the North Pole, Dr. Jan Backman reveals a brief moment in time when the Arctic was subtropical. More about world climate change can be found in our Climate Change featured story .Read more
Mar 23, 2010

Capt. B. Christman, NOAA

Walruses use sea ice as platforms on which to nurse their young and launch their dives for clams and other bottom-dwellers. Each spring, walruses move northward to stay close to these perches as ice melts in the south. But as more and more sea ice melts because of climate change , they may not have as many perches to stay near.Read more
Mar 23, 2010

Mike Weise/NASA

Many species are being recruited to gather data in hidden corners of the ocean. From sea lions to sharks, these animals can collect information about how climate change is affecting ocean temperature and chemistry. More about climate change can be found in the Climate Change section .Read more
Mar 12, 2010
great white shark swims through the ocean

Caterina Gennaro/Marine Photobank

In this episode of the Podcast of Life , students from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School in Massachusetts and La Salle Academy in Rhode Island question shark researcher Greg Skomal about a charismatic predator at the top of the ocean food chain: the Great White Shark . Learn some surprising facts and the answers to questions like what preys on the Great White and do they mate for life?Read more
Mar 5, 2010

© Dr. Andrea Marshall/Marine Photobank

Manta rays are related to sharks, but have quite a different reputation among humans. They are often called the gentle giants of the sea because of their curious nature and graceful movements. This one glides up, as if to greet a diver in the blue water, near San Benedicto, Mexico.Read more
Feb 3, 2010
sea cucumber


What reef animal comes in a rainbow of crazy colors, can throw out its stomach to immobilize predators, then creep away and regrow a brand-new stomach? It’s the sea cucumber, prized as a gastronomic delight by some cultures and beginning to yield some of its secrets to scientists. Follow Podcast of Life host Ari Daniel Shapiro from Chinatown to the reefs of Fiji to learn more about these amazing...Read more
Jan 26, 2010

Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution

Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely new ecosystem is revealed. The twisting mangrove roots, which appear to float unrooted in the water, support a great diversity of life — including sea anemones, brittle stars, and sea urchins. The roots also serve as a nursery area for fishes and other organisms: the twisting roots provide hiding places for young fish,...Read more