Today's Catch

Nov 12, 2014
Credit:

Courtesy of the New England Aquarium

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but scientists estimate that fewer than 450 remain. In the past, they were hunted for their oil and baleen; now they get tangled up in fishing lines, which weaken and eventually kill them. Watch a video about entanglement from WHOI, meet a right whale named Phoenix, and learn more about their biology and why so few remain.Read more
Nov 10, 2014
Credit:

R. G. Gilmore (left) and NURC/UNCW

The Oculina deep-sea coral reef at top has not been disturbed by humans—but trawling has devastated the one at bottom. When fishermen trawl, they drag a net along the seafloor, destroying everything in its path. Only about 10 percent of Oculina habitat remains intact. Learn more about vulnerable deep-sea corals .Read more
Nov 7, 2014
“It’s a little appreciated fact that most of the animals in our ocean make light,” says Edie Widder, biologist and deep sea explorer at ORCA. In this TED talk, she shows incredible film and photos she took of animals in the open ocean making their own light, called bioluminescence, and explains many reasons why they do so. Some predatory fish have glowing lures dangling in front of their mouths...Read more
Nov 6, 2014
Credit:

Smithsonian Institution

"The ocean is essential to all," reads a sign written in Korean by calligrapher Myoung-Won Kwon , a resident of Maryland. The artist showcased his craft for visitors at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History during a May 2011 event in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month . Kwon works on scales small and large; one of his brushes is some four feet tall and he's created one...Read more
Nov 5, 2014
Credit:

Art Howard

Inside the control van for the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason , Dr. Brendan Roark and colleagues watch the ROV collecting deep-sea coral specimens. No scientists dive down with their ROV, so must do all of their observing and collecting using monitors and joysticks from land. This NOAA expedition to study deep-sea corals took place in November 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast...Read more
Nov 4, 2014
Credit:

Barry Brown/Substation Curacao

When this tusk shell was brought up from the deep reef, it was a surprise when a hermit crab poked out! Notice the hermit crab's large claw that it can use to tightly cover the shell opening when it retracts into the shell. Dr. Rafael Lemaitre, NMNH curator of decapod Crustacea , has identified this hermit crab as Pylopagurus discoidalis . In the past, deep-sea animals like this one could only be...Read more
Nov 3, 2014
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

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 unidentified comb jelly (Order Cydippia) have sticky cells that can snag prey, and then retract. Learn more about comb jellies and click through a slideshow of deep ocean animals .Read more
Oct 31, 2014
Credit:

Yoshihiro Fujiwara/JAMSTEC

Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that has fallen to the seafloor in Sagami Bay, Japan. These bizarre worms rely on whale bones for energy and are what scientists call “sexually dimorphic”—the male and female forms are markedly different. In this case, the males are microscopic and live inside the bodies of the female worms! This allows females to produce many,...Read more
Oct 30, 2014
Credit:

Nicky deBattista

The West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site's two fjords, among the world's longest and deepest, are considered archetypical fjord landscapes and among the most scenically outstanding anywhere. Their exceptional natural beauty is derived from narrow and steep-sided crystalline rock walls that rise up to 1,400 meters...Read more
Oct 29, 2014
Credit:

Mary Parrish/Smithsonian Institution

Vertebrates evolved in the sea and eventually moved onto land. The ancestors of whales later returned to the sea, taking advantage of its rich food supplies. As early whales adapted to their new marine surroundings, a diversity of species evolved. Explore the the interactive " Did Whale Evolution Go Backwards? ".Read more

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