Today's Catch

Sea lion with data collector on back.

Sea lion with data collector on back

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...
great white shark swims through the ocean

Great White Shark: One Species at a Time

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...
A manta ray meets a diver face-to-face near San Benedicto, Mexico.

Diver Meets Manta Ray

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...
sea cucumber

Sea Cucumber: One Species at a Time

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...
Sea anemones, brittle stars, and sea urchins make a home on mangrove roots.

Mangrove Roots Up Close

Dip your head below the water's surface in a mangrove forest and an entirely new ecosystem is revealed. The twisting mangrove roots, some of which don’t make it to the seafloor, support a great diversity of life—including sponges, sea anemones,...
A coral reef covered by silt and sand in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Coral Reef Covered by Silt and Sand

This coral reef in the Western Pacific Ocean was killed by human input of silt and sand from nearby islands reaching the coral reef habitat. More about coral reef ecosystems can be found in our Coral Reefs featured story .
This recently discovered hairy crab species (Kiwa hirsuta) has no eyes.

Yeti Crab

The yeti crab ( Kiwa hirsuta ), an unusual, hairy crab with no eyes, was discovered in 2005 on a hydrothermal vent near Easter Island. It represents not only a new species but also a new genus— Kiwa , after the mythological Polynesian goddess of...
Oceanographers divide the ocean into three broad zones, each with different species.

Zones of the Open Ocean

Oceanographers divide the ocean into three broad zones. Together, they could hide 20 Washington Monuments stacked on top of each other. Each zone has a different mix of species adapted to its light levels, pressures, and temperatures. About three-...
How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake monitors plants used in his CO2 study at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

CO2 Marsh Study

How do plants respond to rising CO2 levels? To find out, plant physiologist Bert Drake at SERC exposed marsh plants near the Chesapeake Bay to CO2 levels expected in 50 and 100 years. Different species and ecosystems respond differently—leaving...
Photograph of a transparent polka-dotted squid in the dark ocean.

Cockatoo Squid

This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside its body that give it a balloon-like shape and help...