Today's Catch

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...

Cyprus Shipwreck Discovery

This over 2,000-year-old shipwreck in Mazotas, Cyprus, was discovered in 2007. The ship was loaded with wine from Chios, one of the most expensive and sought-after Greek wines in antiquity. The University of Cyprus, in collaboration with the...
A lone mangrove shoot stands in the path of development in the Bahamas.

Mangrove Survival: Against the Odds

Mangroves thrive in hot, muddy, salty conditions that would kill most plants. But even these tough trees are threatened by human development. This lone mangrove shoot in South Bimini, Bahamas stands strong in the path of a backhoe dredging a lagoon...

Ocean Acidification in the Puget Sound

Scientists predict that ocean acidification will impact communities around the world. One of them is the Suquamish Nation , an American Indian tribe on the Puget Sound, in the Pacific Northwest. Students from the Suquamish Tribal Early College High...

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