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In the dark, cold waters 600 meters (nearly 2000 feet) below the ocean's surface, things happen slowly. Orange roughy ( Hoplostethus atlanticus ) , deep ocean fish that were once known as "slimeheads" because...
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The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place...
Imagine if a fish at the market could tell you where it came from; what would...
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Claws, spines, spikes, tentacles, and fangs. Aliens, monsters, and ghostly...

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The spotfin lionfish ( Pterois antennata ), with venomous spines extended, is native to Indo-Pacific reefs. Certain lionfish species have invaded reefs in Florida, the Caribbean and are moving up the Atlantic coast. The native...
The Pacific hagfish ( Eptatretus stoutii ), a fish that looks similar to an...
By diving in the Curasub, Smithsonian researchers with the Deep Reef...

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Scientists in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History use X-ray imaging to study the...
Portrait of a yellow-green blennie ( family Clinidae ) hiding in the groove of a green brain coral.
Starksia blennies, small fish with elongated bodies, generally native to shallow to moderately deep rock and coral reefs in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans, have been well-studied for...
The corkwing wrasse, or gilt-head, changes color depending on its age, sex, and breeding season. For instance, during the breeding season, males have blue spotted fins and the middle of their scales...
In the early 1990s, the annual commercial harvest of Atlantic bluefin tuna doubled, reaching a peak of 25 kilograms (55 million pounds). More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable...
This fish’s tail looks like a long streamer. It lives near the ocean’s surface and grows only up to 45 mm (1.7 in) long. Find out how this fish was part of an international scientific mystery.
Bioluminescence is one of the more captivating adaptations that have evolved in marine animals. It's the ability of organisms to create and emit light. Dive underwater and you may witness lightshows...
You never know where following your passions can take you. I came to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) two years ago as a research intern after graduating with a Bachelor’s...
The goblin shark ( Mitsukurina owstoni ) is one of the creepier fish out there! It has a long, prominent snout covered with special sensing organs (ampullae of Lorenzini) that help it to sense...
The larger fish in this picture are called sweetlips ( Plectorhinchus ) because of their big, fleshy lips. There are over thirty species of sweetlips, which tend to live on coral reefs in small...
This fish belongs to a group of anglerfishes known as lophiiformes . This species, along with other anglerfishes, has a modified dorsal-fin spine, usually on the tip of the snout, which serves as a...
A school of yellowfin surgeonfish, Acanthurus xanthopterus , feed near dusk off Canton Island in the Phoenix Islands, one of the world's largest marine protected areas. Think this photo should be...
Starksia blennies, small coral reef fish with elongated bodies, have been well-studied for more than 100 years. But things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish. Using genetic analysis...
Beneath the sun shining through the Red Sea onto a hill of coral, butterfly fish ( Chaetodon lunula ), and angelfish swim together. The two fish can be confused for each other, but are distinguished...
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...
The sargassum fish ( Histrio histrio ) is a member of the frogfish family (Antennariidae) and typically lives in open waters near floating sargassum seaweed, which offers camouflage. Although capable...
Lionfish, or Pterois , are a deadly type of fish that live around reefs, although they are native to the Indo-Pacific region. These fish have been known to be invasive, and with no natural predators...
There are about 4 million specimens in the fish collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History . It is the largest of its kind in the world. Learn how these collections helped to solve...
Dr. Carole Baldwin never expected to find seven new species of fish among the Starskia blennies she was studying at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "My research team was using...
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