Today's Catch

Celebrate World Ocean Day

June 8th is World Ocean Day- a great time to celebrate all that the ocean does for us and focus on keeping it healthy for future generations. Visit the Ocean Portal's Find Your Blue page to start learning today about how your personal actions affect...
Sea star in a tide pool

Tide Pools and Adaptations

Adaptation is the key word if you are looking to survive in a tide pool, a space that some scientists describe as the most competitive real estate in the ocean. Tide pools are exposed to the water's ebb and flow, and plants and animals must adapt to...

The Dumbo Octopus: An Underwater Dance

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...
The Indo-Pacific puffer fish

A Library of Puffer Fish DNA

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....
A photo of calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon writing an ocean-themed message.

Calligrapher Celebrates the Ocean

"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...
An artist sketches the preserved bones of a specimen in the Smithsonian's collection.

Flippers, Jawbones, and Blowholes: Marine Specimens Inspire Artists

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,...
red paper lantern jellyfish

Red Paper Lantern Jellyfish: One Species at a Time

The Encyclopedia of Life brings 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...
A poem titled "The Whale" written in magic markers with a drawing of a whale.

Kids' Ocean Haiku Highlights

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...
Photo of coral polyp, with a single bleach polyp.

Corals Threatened by Acid Seas

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...
A polar bear lifting his head to smell the scent of humans nearby

Polar Bear Impacted by Climate Change

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...

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