Today's Catch

Close-up photograph of translucent coral polyps, showing the symbiotic algae living inside.

Close-up of a Coral Polyp

In this close-up photo, you can actually see the photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, living inside a tiny coral polyp. Look for the brownish-green specks in the colorless polyp. Corals depend on these algae for food and for some of their oxygen...

Just How Big Is the Ocean?

The ocean, which we often break into five large ocean basins, covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and holds over 1.3 billion cubic km of water. This massive space also holds over 99 percent of the area that can be inhabited by life, along with...
A bluefin trevally swims in Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef

This bluefin trevally is lucky to call Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument , its home. Maro is the largest reef in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and just one of the many marine ecosystems protected in...
Pink meanie jellyfish

It’s a Jelly Eat Jelly World

A “pink meanie” jellyfish ( Drymonema larsoni )—a species found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean—feeds on a moon jelly ( Aurelia ). In 2014 Dr. Keith Bayha from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Dr. Michael Dawson from the University of...
Arctic Sea Cucumber

Arctic Sea Cucumber

This species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was discovered by Census of Marine Life researchers in the frigid waters of the Arctic . Since the 1800s, researchers observed sea cucumbers similar to this one in the Arctic at all depths...
Brown grass shrimp on a floating piece of seaweed.

Brown Grass Shrimp

Another common species of sargassum shrimp, Leander tenuicornis (Palaemonidae) can be spotted by its long transparent claws or "chelae". Very similar shrimp are found in near shore habitats all around the world. Using genetic tests we may determine...

Endangered Ocean

From snails to whales, approximately 2,270 species are listed as endangered or threatened globally under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Of the species that are listed, approximately 150 of them live in the ocean in U.S. waters , and some are...
Close-up photograph looking into the gaping mouth of a golden brown sea lion, lying on the sand.

Galapagos Sea Lion Yawning

A Galapagos sea lion ( Zalophus wollebaeki ) rests on a beach in Ecuador. The population of these charming animals swings wildly during El Niño events, but is declining overall. They are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List . See more...

Farming Oysters Despite Acidic Seas

Bill Taylor, Paul Taylor, Diani Taylor and Brittany Taylor have more in common than just a last name; they also share a business. The Taylors have been in the family oyster-farming business in Washington State for five generations. In recent years,...
Photograph of a bristly brown and white worm, with one end pressed against a pale green coral.

Fireworm Takes on Fire Coral

This bearded fireworm ( Hermodice carunculata ) must have a strong stomach -- it’s sucking on fire coral ( Millepora sp. ), which would give the unlucky snorkeler a nasty sting. Encountered in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, the worm in this photo is...

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