Today's Catch

Dec 9, 2010
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

The first underwater robotic vehicle—or “glider”—to cross an ocean is the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian. Rutgers University professor Scott Glenn explains that the technology is now being used to study the Gulf oil spill. Read more about the glider's historic Atlantic crossing, tracing the path of Christopher Columbus's Pinta .Read more
Dec 8, 2010
Credit:

Provided by Rutgers University

The first unmanned, underwater robot or glider Scarlet Knight maneuvers through the dangerous opposing and circular currents in swirling eddy fields of the Atlantic Ocean to collect data below the waves where satellites cannot see. A satellite communication system in the tailfin sent data to scientists each time the robot surfaced. The data fed a national information network, the U.S. Integrated...Read more
Dec 8, 2010
Credit:

Provided by Rutgers University

Scientists met the robotic glider Scarlet Knight about halfway along its journey of scientific exploration from the United States to Spain, discovering that barnacles were growing on the glider’s body, as this graphic illustrates. As algae began to grow on the glider’s exterior surface, small sea creatures attached, attracting larger ocean predators that could damage the glider. Scarlet Knight is...Read more
Nov 4, 2010
Credit:

James Watt, Seapics

The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean. Apart from the deep cultural significance the site has for living Hawai'ians, it's important for its pelagic and deepwater habitats, which contain special features such as seamounts, submerged banks...Read more
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

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