Today's Catch

Jun 9, 2015

© Annie Crawley

The Trash Detectives collected hundreds of samples during the expedition, including these tiny Velella velella jellyfish larvae together with confetti-like bits of plastic. Velella velella are free-floating hydrozoans that live on the surface of the open ocean.Read more
Jun 8, 2015

Sandra J. Raredon / Smithsonian Institution

An X-ray image of grooved razorfish ( Centriscus scutatus ). Razorfish are encased in thin, transparent bony plates attached to their spines, which you can see in the X-ray. Also known as shrimpfish, razorfish have a unique swimming style: they keep their bodies vertical (heads down, tails up) while propelling themselves forward in schools. Note that the back of the fish is bony and nearly...Read more
Jun 5, 2015

Wikimedia User "Mtpaley"

An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's legs to keep warm in the long Antarctic winter. Learn more about research on emperor penguins and other Antarctic creatures .Read more
Jun 4, 2015


When coral reefs are damaged, they sometimes struggle to grow back because there aren't enough coral seedlings around, and the ones that are around are growing together too closely. Enter: the coral gardeners. Fiji's coral gardeners, who are fishermen trained by biologists, collect small corals that are struggling to grow because they have little space, and bring them to a raised platform that...Read more
Jun 3, 2015

Maggie D. Johnson, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Unlike the green, leafy algae we're used to seeing on the seafloor, coralline algae has a hard crust—which you can see here at the molecular level in a photo from a scanning electron microscope. Each coralline algae cell builds a limestone wall around itself, creating a honeycomb-like structure. As layer upon layer of algae grow over one another, they form an ever-thicker crust that acts as a...Read more
Jun 2, 2015

© David Shale

This rarely-seen smalleyed rabbitfish ( Hydrolagus affinis ), belonging to the order of Chimaera, was caught during a research trip to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2004 sponsored by the Census of Marine Life . In Greek mythology, chimeras were beasts that were part lion, part snake and part goat, although deep sea Chimaeras are not a combination of animals. Rather, they are related to sharks, but...Read more
May 29, 2015

K. Raskoff, Monterey Peninsula College, Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA

Light refracts off the comb-rows of the Mertensia ovum , a ctenophore , producing stripes of rainbow colors . The jelly eats copepods and small crustaceans that become stuck to its sticky tentacles. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.Read more
May 28, 2015

Seabird McKeon

When they get larger, Portunus sayi are formidable predators, quick to consume any smaller animal that comes within reach. Fish, other crustaceans, and even smaller members of their own species are not safe from this hungry sargassum swimming crab. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral fellow, Seabird McKeon, studies floating seaweeds and the minuscule animals...Read more
May 27, 2015

© OCEANA Carlos Minguell

For centuries, the Baltic Sea has provided European flounder ( Platichthys flesus ) and other fish for millions of people to consume. Since the early 1980s, the nations surrounding the sea have coordinated their efforts to protect its health through the Helsinki Commission . In addition to being overfished , the Baltic Sea is one of the more polluted bodies of water in the world . You can read...Read more
May 26, 2015

Tony Brown, Flickr

The rich colors of emperor angelfish make them a vibrant version of royalty. They are curious fish that will come and greet their human visitors. However this unique coloring is not shared with all ages. Young emperor angelfish, like the one in this image, have such a different color scheme than the adults that they are easily mistaken for a different species. The adult coloring has blue and...Read more