Today's Catch

Jul 23, 2014
Credit:

Brian Henderson, Flickr user stinkenroboter

The blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus ) is one of the most important commercial species in the United States, especially in the Chesapeake Bay region on the Mid-Atlantic coast. Its populations are affected by local water quality, overfishing, reproduction dynamics and bycatch amounts, and efforts to protect the region and crab species have been ongoing. Parasites can also affect the commercial...Read more
Jul 22, 2014
Credit:

Flickr user Bill & Mark Bell

What is blue carbon? It's a term used to describe the carbon that is captured from the atmosphere by ocean ecosystems, mainly coastal mangroves, seagrasses and salt marshes. These coastal areas can hold up to five times more carbon than tropical forests , which means they play an important role in both removing excess carbon from the atmosphere and storing that carbon for the long haul...Read more
Jul 21, 2014
Credit:

Marsh Youngbluth/MAR-ECO, Census of Marine Life

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 small comb jelly snares prey with its two short tentacles. Read m ore about the deep sea and comb jellies .Read more
Jul 18, 2014
Credit:

Joel Butnick, Guylian Seahorses of the World 2005. Courtesy of Project Seahorse

Seahorses are hitchhikers. They can travel long distances across the ocean—farther than they can swim—by attaching themselves to floating seaweed and debris. Read 10 more facts you never knew about seahorses .Read more
Jul 17, 2014
Credit:

Dietmar Temps (Flickr)

A parent Magellanic penguin ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) sits with its big chick. Magellanic penguins live in South America, breeding in colonies along the coasts of Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Islands, and some migrate north to Brazil. Parents typically lay two eggs under a bush or in a burrow, taking turns swimming out to sea to catch food for their chicks. But the largest colony in the...Read more
Jul 16, 2014
Credit:

(c) Gavin Parsons / www.gavinparsons.co.uk / Marine Photobank

There is a huge amount of plastic trash floating in the ocean, which endangers wildlife that eats or gets tangled in it. Reducing the amount of plastic trash in the ocean doesn't seem that hard; people just need to use less plastic, such as packaging, drinking straws and plastic bags. But it can be very hard to break people's habits. In 2002, Ireland made a simple change: they started charging a...Read more
Jul 15, 2014
Sponges are animals that eat tiny food particles as they pump water through their bodies. They are very common on Caribbean coral reefs, and come in all shapes, sizes and colors. There is great variability in their size: some sponges are very small (just a few centimeters) while others are very big, like the giant barrel sponge, which can be six feet wide. Even sponges of the same species can...Read more
Jul 14, 2014
Credit:

Flickr user Paul Flandinette

Polarized sunglasses have become the norm for humans when they want to filter out the strong glare from the sunlight bouncing off of water in a horizontal direction. But how do animals do that live in the water full time see over the glare? Over time some animals, including fish, crabs and shrimp, have evolved built-in polarized vision . In addition to helping them see underwater, mantis shrimp...Read more
Jul 11, 2014
Credit:

Phillip Colla/Nature’s Best Photography

“As we motored around Paulet Island in a Zodiac boat, these two curious penguins waddled across an iceberg to get a closer look at us.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Phillip Colla . See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of winners from the 2010 Nature's Best Ocean Views photo contest. These Adélie penguins live in Antarctica and rely on tiny crustaceans, called krill, as their main...Read more
Jul 10, 2014
Credit:

NOAA/Battle of the Atlantic Expedition

Fish swim around the wreck of the HMT Bedfordshire , an Arctic fishing trawler that was converted into an anti-submarine warship during World War II. Originally part of Great Britain's Royal Navy, it was sent to assist the United States Navy in 1941. In Spring 1942, the HMT Bedfordshire was hit by a torpedo sent from a U-boat and sunk off the coast of North Carolina, killing all 37 crewmembers...Read more

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