Today's Catch

A graph of arctic ice coverage from 2011, showing data through September 7, 2011.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Graph

This graph of the Arctic sea ice coverage shows how close the year 2011 is to reaching a record-low . The graph contains data through September 7, 2011. The National Snow and Ice Data Center , which produced the graph, says we should know within a...
NOAA satellite image of four tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean basin on 9/8/2011

NASA Spots Four Tropical Storms in Atlantic Basin on Sept 8, 2011

This image shows four tropical storm systems in the Atlantic Ocean basin on September 8, 2011. In this arresting image you can see Maria, Katia, Nate, and Lee--all four storm systems--in one NOAA satellite image. NASA provided information and data...

Researching Invasive Species Near the Panama Canal

If you want to study invasive species in the ocean, the Panama Canal offers a lot to explore. The ships passing through can inadvertently transport plants, animals, and even parasites from the Atlantic into the Pacific, or the reverse direction....

Demonstrating an Earthquake's Seismic Waves

On August 23, 2011 a 5.8 earthquake emanated from the little-known Central Virginia Seismic Zone. The epicenter was near Mineral, VA, but the tremor shook homes, schools, and office buildings in Washington, DC, including Smithsonian Institution...

Lophelia Pertusa Coral Polyps

Deep-sea corals scientist Dr. J. Murray Roberts photographed these living polyps from the Mingulay Reef Complex off Scotland in aquaria in 2010. Learn more about Roberts' work mapping deep-sea corals and explore more about deep-sea corals in the...
Macroscopic Algae (Ventricaria ventricosa)

Bubble Algae (Ventricaria ventricosa)

Macroscopic algae ( Ventricaria ventricosa ), also known as "bubble algae" or "sea pearl," is widespread algal species that can withstand low light. Each of the bubbles is a single cell, making it one of the largest single-celled organisms known,...
Elysia chlorotica, the photosynthesizing sea slug.

Sea Slugs: One Species at a Time

Come one, come all! See the amazing, the astonishing, half-animal, half-plant! Journey to Tampa Bay, Florida, where scientist Skip Pierce and one of his students first made a remarkable discovery twenty years ago. Meet Elysia chlorotica, a bright...
A polar bear and her cub on the ice

Polar Bears: One Species at a Time

The Encyclopedia of Life brings us another installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . In this podcast, host Ari Daniel Shapiro relates two close calls with polar bears. Listen as Heather Cray recalls how, dumped by a storm on a small Arctic...
A male surfer catching a wave in Hawaii

Inside the Wave, Makena Beach, Maui

“While the shore-break at Makena Beach is notoriously dangerous and powerful, it also makes for some amazing images. On this particular morning I convinced my brother, Forrest, to ride a couple of waves on his boogie board just as the sun came over...

World Ocean Day 2011 'Splash' Mob

It was a typical summer day in the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. Visitors were examining the giant squid and marveling at the life-size replica of Phoenix, the right whale . The only thing odd was the high number of blue...

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