Today's Catch

Jan 19, 2016
Credit:

Patrick Decaluwe / Guylian Seahorses of the World 2010, Courtesy of Project Seahorse.

There are 47 different species of seahorses and 14 of those were discovered in the last eight years, including Pontoh's pygmy seahorse ( Hippocampus pontohi ), which was officially named in 2008. Seahorses’ ability to change their color and shape to blend in with their environment makes identification of individual species challenging. Because of this, some researchers previously thought there...Read more
Jan 14, 2016
Credit:

Bastian Bentlage

This venomous box jelly ( Chiropsalmus quadrumanus ) was collected off the coast of South Carolina. The specimen now resides in the Smithsonian’s marine collection . It's venomous sting can be lethal, especially to small children. Listen to Podcast of Life: Box Jellies and check out the jellyfish and comb jellies overview to learn more about jellies.Read more
Jan 13, 2016
Credit:

NOAA Marine Debris Program

The “garbage patches,” as referred to in the media, are areas of marine debris concentration in the North Pacific Ocean, circulated by the North Pacific gyre. The gyre spreads across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the western US, and north-south from California to Hawaii. Its total size isn't well defined because there are numerous factors that affect the location, size, and strength currents...Read more
Jan 12, 2016
Credit:

Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution

These "elevator" rudists, an ancient bivalve, used one long heavy valve to anchor themselves in the sediment. They used their tentacles (shown here in pink) to filter food from the sea water. And many often grew together to form early reefs. Learn more about these rudist reefs .Read more
Jan 11, 2016
Credit:

Steve Gould/Nature's Best Photography

There are over 30 colonies of king penguins ( Aptenodytes patagonicus ) on South Georgia Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. The penguins capture their prey, typically lanternfish, by diving at speeds of 12 miles per hour. “This photo was taken the first evening of six that I spent at South Georgia Island. It captures a group of penguins on their way to the ocean to feed. As they approached, I...Read more
Jan 8, 2016
Credit:

Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. Image taken under NOAA NMHSRP permit #932-1489, with the authority of the US Endangered Species Act Inset: Smithsonian Institution

This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and often distressed) whale, working with ropes pulled very tight and sharp blades. Special teams of experts around the world are trained in the necessary procedures to help free these beautiful giants...Read more
Jan 7, 2016
When you look underwater, what is making the seagrass wave in the water? The answer is ocean currents . Ocean currents are continuous movements of water in the ocean that follow set paths, kind of like rivers in the ocean. They can be at the water's surface or go to the deep sea; some are very large, like Japan's Kuroshio Current, which is equal in volume to 6,000 large rivers, while others are...Read more
Jan 6, 2016
Credit:

Joel Butnick, Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005. Courtesy of Project Seahorse

Seahorses are hitchhikers. They can travel long distances across the ocean—farther than they can swim—by attaching themselves to floating seaweed and debris. Read 10 more facts you never knew about seahorses .Read more
Jan 5, 2016
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

Starksia blennies, small fish with elongated bodies, generally native to shallow to moderately deep rock and coral reefs in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. It would have been reasonable to assume that there was little about the group left to discover. Using modern genetic analysis combined with traditional examination of morphology...Read more
Jan 4, 2016
Credit:Ernst Stewart
Known to many simply as “shark girl,” Madison Stewart is an inspiring young woman with a passion to protect the creatures most people fear: sharks. S he’s been diving with sharks since the age of twelve. Here she is feeding a group of Caribbean reef sharks. Now 20, Madison has made it her life’s mission to safeguard the creatures and the reefs she loves. Read more in her blog post.Read more

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