Today's Catch

Oct 30, 2015

SINC Agency, Spain & Guerra-García, José Manuel

Skeleton shrimp are amphipods (a type of crustacean related to shrimp and crabs). They have grasping legs to hang onto their surroundings as they sway with the current and use their front claws to grab their food—algae, detritus, and copepods. This tiny species only reaches a length of about one-eighth an inch (the female is smaller, only a tenth of an inch, seen here on the left) and is found in...Read more
Oct 22, 2015

Dianne Bray / Museum Victoria

The goblin shark ( Mitsukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense electric fields in the deep, dark water it calls home. But even stranger is its jaw. Though close to the head in this picture, it can be extended to the length of its snout to help the goblin shark ambush...Read more
Oct 21, 2015

Linda Snook/NOAA/CBNMS

The Pacific hagfish ( Eptatretus stoutii ), a fish that looks similar to an eel, has no jaw and is totally blind. They find food, often dead fish, through a specialized sense of smell and, because they can absorb nutrients through their skin, can eat by just burrowing into a dead carcass. However, they also eat live prey. Learn more about their habitat, ecology, and slime-producing habits !Read more
Oct 20, 2015

© David Shale

This red octopod ( Stauroteuthis syrtensis ) shines in a novel way. Suckers stretching in a single row down each arm flash on and off. The glowing-sucker octopod drifts through deep waters off the eastern United States—down to 2,500 meters (8,200 feet)—and grows up to 50 cm (18 inches) long. Learn more about cephalopods and deep ocean exploration on the Ocean Portal.Read more
Oct 19, 2015

Flickr user JennyHuang

There aren't any mummies or zombies buried under the seafloor: instead the ocean has its own terror from below, the bobbit worm ( Eunice aphroditois ). A couple inches wide and up to ten feet long, the bobbit worm stays hidden under tropical sands with just its five antennae poking out—waiting. When it senses prey above, it moves with speed and strength to grab them, sometimes splitting its fishy...Read more
Oct 16, 2015

Chuck Savall

Corals are sedentery animals, so how do they reproduce? One way is sexually through spawning , when the corals release eggs and sperm into the water (often at the same time due to some sort of trigger). External sexual reproduction occurs when colonies of coral release huge numbers of eggs and sperm that are often glued into bundles (one bundle per polyp) that float towards the surface. In this...Read more
Oct 15, 2015

Flickr User wildestanimal

Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family of Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. Seals also are suited to spend more time in the water than sea lions, which can "walk" on shore with their large flippers and spend time in large social groups. Another give-away is that...Read more
Oct 13, 2015

Caine Delacy

When you think of African animals, what do you think of? Probably the “Big Five:” lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos. But Africa also has an incredible amount of marine diversity in the coral reefs and open water surrounding the continent. Consider the ocean’s “Big Five” —whale sharks, giant manta rays, humpback whales, dolphins, tiger sharks—in this blog post from a researcher...Read more
Oct 9, 2015

Erwin Poliakoff

These beautiful mandarinfish ( Synchiropus splendidus ) are covered in bright blue, red, yellow and orange waves. What they lack, however, are traditional fish scales. Instead of your typical fish scales they are covered in a smelly mucus coating. It's possible that this mucus, which not only smells but also tastes bad, deters predators.Read more
Oct 8, 2015

Antoine N'Yeurt, Moorea Biocode Project

A strain of this green seaweed, native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, escaped public and private aquariums in California, Japan, Australia, and Monaco. It has spread widely in the Mediterranean, replacing native plants (such as seagrasses ) and depriving marine life of food and habitat. In California , it was eradicated at considerable cost using toxic chemicals. Read No Passport Required:...Read more