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These watercolor sketches of Trapezia crabs were drawn by Frederick Bayer, a former Smithsonian coral biologist, in 1947. Trapezia crabs live on and within corals, feeding on their tissue and mucus, and protect them...
Lying in water only a foot deep, I watched the shark meander lazily through the...
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Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis ) are incredible birds. They have...
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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...

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The distinctive form of a winghead shark ( Eusphyra blochii ) is revealed by an X-ray image. The Winghead Shark, one of about ten species of hammerhead sharks, has its eyes set at the tips of its wide, T-shaped head, giving it...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright...
The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga...

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From Nature's Best Photography Explore the winning photos from the 2012 Nature's Best Photography Ocean Views contest! You...

The Ocean Blog

Recorded on Feb. 15, 2011, award-winning ocean filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau addresses students and educators at the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts . Cousteau, president of the Ocean...
What can students do to help the ocean? It turns out, a lot! These students from Texas are among dozens from the U.S. and Mexico who are developing action plans on ocean and climate-related issues in...
“Upon returning from the reef after a night dive, I swam toward a bright reflection and came eye-to-eye with this beautiful, curious squid," said Charles Viggers, a Nature's Best photographer. Squids...
Recorded Feb. 15, 2011, this video from the Third Student Summit on the Ocean and Coasts includes a tribal song written and sung by Suquamish Tribal member Bearon Old Coyote; a welcome to the...
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
“Tomales Bay is a narrow, protected waterway along the San Andreas fault. In years past, it was known for its thriving fishing industry. This boat is a relic from better times for local fishermen,...
A piece of the Institute For Figuring’s Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef known as the Ladies Silurian Atoll. The HCCR exhibit was on display in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian's National Museum...
I have been to this location many times, but no other photo has come out like this one composed with the sun behind a turtle’s head.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Pedro Carrillo. See more beautiful...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
A volunteer sorts washed plastic collected from the beach into buckets by color and size. Washed Ashore uses all but around 5% of the plastic volunteers collect from the beaches in its sculptures...
"I was photographing this beautiful school of jacks when a diver slowly approached from beneath. I shifted my position to capture the moment he entered the ball of fish. Seconds later, he was...
The long toothy rostrum or “saw” gives sawfish their common name. They use the saw to dig in the sand for crustaceans or to attack prey by vigorously slashing from side to side. This smalltooth...
“While the shore-break at Makena Beach is notoriously dangerous and powerful, it also makes for some amazing images. On this particular morning I convinced my brother, Forrest, to ride a couple of...
Calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon's pen name is Mook Jae. He poses here with a work that has an ocean-themed message . Kwon moved to the United States from South Korea in 1986. While he's a master of his...
These star-shaped grains of sand, collected from southern Japan, look like miniature works of art -- but they were not sculpted by an artist. They are the shells of microscopic organisms called...
Thanks to a passionate group of fearless ocean photographers, you can stare-down a yellow-mouth moray eel, a sperm whale, and a harlequin shrimp. These are just three of the subjects in the 2011...
This plastic bottle jellyfish reminds us that even invertebrates are at risk. "Even sea jellies are found with plastic particles in their translucent bodies," Pozzi says.
The shortfin mako shark ( Isurus oxyrinchus) is found offshore in tropical and warm temperate waters of all oceans, but has been known to travel to cooler waters at times. It is very strong and the...
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