Census of Marine Life

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The Census of Marine Life was a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” The international effort to asses the diversity, distribution, and...
This colony of Rosacea may look like a single jellyfish, but it is actually a...
As 10 years of intensive research draw to a close, the Census of Marine Life...
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have...

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This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered during the Census of Marine...
This rarely-seen smalleyed rabbitfish ( Hydrolagus affinis ), belonging to...
This new species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was...

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Did you know that over 17,000 species thrive in the deep sea where no light penetrates the ocean waves? Or that an old...

The Ocean Blog

As 10 years of intensive research draw to a close, the Census of Marine Life has released the most comprehensive inventory of life in the ocean to date. This landmark collection of scientific papers...
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...
The ocean is home to a phenomenal diversity of marine organisms. They have evolved to inhabit warm waters near the equator and the icy waters of the Earth’s poles. Marine life takes advantage of the...
Census researchers manipulate the robotic arm of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Quest to study shrimp and other deep sea life forms. They discovered the creatures at a hydrothermal vent 3...
This beautiful open ocean microbe is a type of large amoeba called an acantharian. Microbes account for over 90 percent of the biomass in the ocean -- they are teeming with microscopic bacteria,...
Like this ctenophore ( Aulococtena acuminata ), many animals that live in the midwater zone are red—making them almost invisible in the dim blue light that filters down from the sea surface. This...
The Census of Marine Life - a ten-year effort by scientists from around the world to answer the age-old question, “What lives in the sea?” It was an international effort to asses the diversity,...
Holozooplankton are animals that live adrift in the ocean waves for their entire lives. The researchers who took part in the Census of Marine Zooplankton, a project of the Census of Marine Life ,...
This close-up view of salps, which have aggregated together into a long chain, have brilliant red guts from eating red plankton. They were observed by researchers with the Census of Marine...
Now that the Census of Marine Life is over, we’re checking in with some of the researchers to hear about their favorite expedition, what they learned, and how the Census and its findings continue to...
This beautiful spider conch ( Lambis chiragra ) was collected by Census of Marine Life scientists conducting research near China.
Male northern elephant seals face off on the beach by vocalizing through their extended noses, called proboscises. Every winter, when the seals return to the beach where they were born to breed,...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
Can you spot the amphipod ( Phronima atlantica ) in the below photo? She's the transparent lobster-looking animal in the middle, surrounded by her own eggs -- inside a sac that once was the "barrel"...
This transparent cockatoo squid ( Leachia sp.), also known as a glass squid, lives in the depths of the ocean and has many adaptations to help it survive there. It retains ammonia solutions inside...
This brilliant red octopus ( Benthoctopus sp. ) was photographed at more than 8,800 feet (about 2,700 meters) in Alaminos Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico. See more photos of wild creatures encountered...
This jelly’s red color provides camouflage in the deep ocean. Red light rarely reaches those depths, and most deep-sea animals have lost the ability to see red. The long, complex tentacles of this...
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