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Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they...
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During the 2012 field season of the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) in...
Can painted wooden fish on a schoolyard fence change human behavior and help...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the...

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The Palauan primitive cave eel ( Protanguilla palau ) has an evolutionary history that dates back some 200 million years . Because of this and the fact that it has retained some primitive features, scientists are recognizing it...
This bait ball shows how small fish can react when larger predators are near...
The whitish spots on this fish are individual parasitic trematode worms...

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By Lindsay Aylesworth, Project Seahorse The day I stepped into my wetsuit, donned my mask, and embarked on my first scuba...

The Ocean Blog

Tuna caught in the Indian Ocean show the huge scale of commercial fishing. More about sustainable seafood can be found in our Sustainable Seafood feature story.
When you think of African animals, what do you think of? Probably the “Big Five:” lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo and rhinos. But Africa also has an incredible amount of marine diversity in the...
Weedy seadragons ( Phyllopteryx taeniolatus ) are found off the coast of south and east Australia. Just like seahorses , the male seadragon is tasked with caring for its eggs. The bright pink eggs...
In the X-ray image of this Viper Moray Eel ( Enchelynassa canina ), note the second set of jaws in the “throat”; these are the gill arches, which are present in all fish. Gill arches support the...
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...
An Arctic cod rests in an ice-covered space. View the “ Under Arctic Ice ” photo essay.
A blue cod and sea pens , a unique type of cnidarian , speckle the seafloor in New Zealand's Fiordland region.You can see more beautiful underwater photos from Brian Skerry in his image gallery .
The whitish spots on this fish are individual parasitic trematode worms. Trematodes have complicated life cycles that usually involve multiple hosts -- often starting in a snail and then moving on to...
This offshore cage is stocked with 70,000 Pacific threadfin ( Polydactylus sexfilis ), or moi. Aquaculture can provide a sustainable way to satisfy the demand for this Hawaiian delicacy, once...
If there had been room to stand up, there would have been a standing ovation. As it was, the five of us on the submersible Curasub clapped and cheered when the first three deep-reef ARMS (Autonomous...
In 2003, a team of Japanese scientists analyzed the DNA of tapetails and whalefish. The results suggested that these two very different looking fishes were almost identical in one specific gene. But...
The pre-industrial American landscape was once rightly described as a place where “the deer and the antelope roam.” On land, we take it for granted that the plant-eating deer and antelope far...
The waters of New Guinea teemed with exotic fishes and crabs, which were faithfully depicted by William Dampier’s artist. When Dampier’s book A Voyage to New Holland was published in 1703,...
The majestic and highly predatory red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) , native to the Indo-Pacific, is invading Atlantic waters. The lionfish is a popular home aquarium species, and some were most...
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...
For nearly 35 years, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has been immersing himself in the big blue to get the perfect underwater photograph. He admits that there will never will be a "...
The ocean is home to many moms of all shapes and sizes: from charismatic polar bears and dolphins to small fishes and shrimps and more. Learn about some of the diverse parenting habits of marine moms...
The pinecone fish ( Monocentris japonicus ) looks like the real thing on land—covered in large scales with a dark trim. They are found lurking in caves and under ledges in the Indian and Western...
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