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The Ocean Blog

Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal...
The Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media bring us another installment of the podcast, One Species at a Time . In this podcast, host Ari Daniel Shapiro relates two close calls with polar...
Hidden beneath Arctic ice is a world few have ever seen. Take the icy plunge with a team of ice-loving scientists.
At the Poles, Life Thrives Located beside the Shores and Shallows gallery (which highlights different kinds of coastal ecosystems around the world), the Poles area will take you to the ends of the...
Bivalves brought up in a box corer from the deep Arctic seafloor.
Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another...
To document fragile organisms found in the Arctic , scientist Kevin Raskoff builds special aquaria on the ship to photograph of live critters that have been captured.
This pair of sea butterflies ( Limacina helicina ) flutter not far from the ocean's surface in the Arctic. Sea butterflies are a type of sea snail, but instead of dragging themselves around the...
A sea star , Hymenaster pellucidus , brought up from a benthic ROV dive. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.
Atolla tenella , a midwater scyphomedusa , as seen under a microscope. View the “Under Arctic Ice” photo essay to learn more.
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
The Arctic comb jelly or sea nut ( Mertensia ovum ) is commonly found in the surface (top 50 meters) in cold, northern waters. Like other cydippid ctenophores, it has two tentacles fringed with...
Special ships called ‘icebreakers’ are needed to access some areas of the ice-covered Arctic Ocean .
Benthic scientists are interested in the creatures that live on and in the seafloor and inside the sediments. Here they haul up mud from the Arctic seafloor to examine for animals.
Polar bears are threatened by the loss of sea ice in the Arctic . They walk for miles on the ice shelves to access different parts of the sea to hunt seals and other food. But as the ice melts as the...
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, are...
Alien-looking creatures like this deep-red jellyfish ( Crossota norvegica ) swim in the Arctic Sea. Learn more about Arctic sea life in our Under the Arctic Ice story, or at the home page for the...
It takes special equipment and many warm layers of clothing to dive safely beneath Arctic sea ice . Ice divers look for holes in a melt pond in order to enter the frigid waters.
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