Today's Catch

May 15, 2015

Copyright © Brian Skerry

Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) swimming within a fresh water spring on Crystal River in Florida. Note the tree roots on the right of the frame which make up a portion of this unique ecosystem. Fish aggregate around the manatee and eat algae off of the manatee's body.Read more
May 14, 2015

Michael Berumen

Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's Sant Chair for Marine Science, puts up an Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structure (ARMS) during a dive in the Red Sea. These small underwater “condos” have been placed across the world’s oceans—from shallow water to 700 feet on the deep reefs of Curaçao, and from Brazil to the Indian Ocean. The ARMS mimic the nooks and crannies of oyster reefs, without the sharp edges...Read more
May 13, 2015

Courtesy Charles Fisher

Deep-sea corals miles away from the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were impacted by the plumes. One affected site was 13.7 miles (22 km) away from the Macondo wellhead—the farthest observed—and extremely deep, more than 6,000 feet (1,875 meters) below the surface. This is deeper than any of the reported oil plumes that resulted from the spill. How did oil get down there? Read...Read more
May 12, 2015

© Brian Skerry,

Two California market squids ( Loligo opalescens ) mate in the waters off of California's Channel Islands. While spawning, the male's arms blush red as he embraces the female, a warning to other competing males to back-off. Find out how and why squids and other cephalopods change color .Read more
May 11, 2015

Yeang H. Ch’ng/Nature’s Best Photography

“A four-foot-long barracuda is visible flashing past me, with the sky and the lights of my boat seen above.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Yeang H. Ch’ng. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from the 2010 Nature's Best Ocean Views photo contest.Read more
May 8, 2015

Images from Barry Brown, Substation Curacao and Cedric Guigand, University of Miami

Human infants often already resemble their parents. Visitors coo, "Oh, she has your eyes," or "He is the spitting image of his father." But what if the infant (or in this case, the larva) looked entirely different from its adult parents, with different body shape and coloring? This is the case for many marine species, especially fishes, making it difficult to match up a larva with it's...Read more
May 7, 2015

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition

Methane gas, trapped deep within the Earth's crust, can slowly leak from cracks in the seafloor known as methane seeps. While we would never consider methane as food, in the deep sea where there is little light or resources, microbes have evolved to turn methane into energy and live off of it . And where there are microbes, there are often other animals—such as tube worms or mussels—that eat...Read more
May 6, 2015
Coral reefs are some of the most endangered ecosystems on the planet that are home to beautiful wildlife and provide food to many people living on the coast. So how do you protect the reefs without cutting off communities from their food source? Instead of creating one big marine protected area to conserve coral reefs, one idea is to protect a series of smaller reef areas. A series of protected...Read more
May 5, 2015

© OCEANA Carlos Minguell

Dead man’s fingers ( Alcyonium digitatum ) are soft corals named for their appendage-like appearance when thrown ashore by storms. The finger-like clumps of coral polyps come in various shades of pink, orange, white, grey, or yellow and are found along the northern Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. View other images of Baltic Sea life in a photo gallery of Oceana’s 2011 expedition .Read more
May 1, 2015

Mark Jones

In Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, brown pelicans ( Pelecanus occidentalis ) nest at the top of a mangrove tree. Many other kinds of birds—as well as insects, frogs, snakes, and lizards—live in the canopy of mangroves. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .Read more