Today's Catch

Dec 13, 2013
Credit:

©Clyde F.E. Roper

Sperm whales have conical teeth on their long, narrow, lower jaw. The teeth fit neatly into sockets in the upper jaw, which has no teeth. This arrangement is a perfect adaptation for slurping up soft-bodied squids—giant or otherwise. The sperm whale is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species .Read more
Dec 12, 2013
Credit:

Brian Gratwicke, Flickr

These large jellyfish ( Chrysaora fuscescens ) are most commonly found along the coasts of California and Oregon. (They're also popular in the displays of public aquaria.) Their bells can grow to a diameter of around 1 foot ( 30 cm) , with red stinging tentacles and oral arms extending far below. Pacific sea nettles have a varied diet, which includes fish, comb jellies, floating snails, and other...Read more
Dec 11, 2013
Credit:

©James D. Watt/Ocean Stock

This bluefin trevally is lucky to call Hawaii’s Maro Coral Reef, part of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument , its home. Maro is the largest reef in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands and just one of the many marine ecosystems protected in the 140,000 square miles of Papahānaumokuākea, one of the largest marine protected areas in the world. Learn more about Papahānaumokuākea and other...Read more
Dec 10, 2013
Credit:

C. Kyburg; Obtained under NMFS permit #14534

Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar. Read more in a blog post from one of the researchers.Read more
Dec 9, 2013
Credit:

Chuck Savall

As it clings to a red sea fan, a feather star ( Cenometra bella ) gently waves its slender arms—filtering bits of food from the water. Also known as sea lilies, feather stars are related to sea stars. Learn more about life on coral reefs in the Coral Reefs section .Read more
Dec 6, 2013
Credit:

Seabird McKeon

Another common species of sargassum shrimp, Leander tenuicornis (Palaemonidae), can be spotted by its long transparent claws or "chelae". Very similar shrimp are found in near shore habitats all around the world. Using genetic tests we may determine if they are the same species, or two different species that look the same. Off the coast of Belize, Smithsonian Marine Science Network postdoctoral...Read more
Dec 5, 2013
Credit:

Antonina Rogacheva, Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow

This new species of deep-water sea cucumber ( Elpidia belyaevi ) was discovered by Census of Marine Life researchers in the frigid waters of the Arctic . Since the 1800s, researchers observed sea cucumbers similar to this one in the Arctic at all depths, from shallow to deep, and assumed they were all the same species, Elpidia glacialis . But after the Census, researchers think that E. glacialis...Read more
Dec 4, 2013
Credit:

© OCEANA Carlos Minguell

For centuries, the Baltic Sea has provided European flounder ( Platichthys flesus ) and other fish for millions of people. Since the early 1980s, the nations surrounding the sea have coordinated their efforts to protect its health through the Helsinki Commission . In addition to being overfished , the Baltic Sea is one of the more polluted bodies of water in the world . You can read about some of...Read more
Dec 3, 2013
Credit:

©Clyde F.E. Roper

This image from a scanning electron micrograph magnifies the tiny teeth that cover the surface of the giant squid’s tongue-like organ, or radula . Seven rows of sharp teeth help direct tiny pieces of food down the squid’s esophagus (only three are shown here). Because the esophagus passes through the brain before reaching the stomach, the pieces of food must be small. Read more about the giant...Read more
Dec 2, 2013
Credit:

James Watt

The critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal ( Monachus schauinslandi ) is one of hundreds of marine species that can be found cruising the waters of Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest of the main Hawaiian archipelago. Despite living in protected habitat, Hawaiian monk seals frequently become entangled in fishermen's nets, threatening their survival. It's estimated that only around 1...Read more

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