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Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other whales, feed primarily on...
During the winter and spring months, tagged fur seals migrate thousands of...
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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...
Scientists know the Greenland shark ( Somniosus microcephalus ) moves slowly in...

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To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all distinct. In fact, the Inupiaq have...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole”...
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are...

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The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been...

The Ocean Blog

At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
Small amphipods, the blue bug-like creatures, can be seen here catching a ride on this enormous sea spider as it makes its way across the bottom. Many Antarctic creatures, like the dinner-plate-sized...
To document fragile organisms found in the Arctic , scientist Kevin Raskoff builds special aquaria on the ship to photograph of live critters that have been captured.
Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for walruses, who tend to be sociable animals. Their groups can range from tens to thousands. Each individual herd has a...
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...
Scientists use a multinet to collect Arctic zooplankton samples from different depth layers in the water column .
The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been nicknamed “The Last Ocean.” And it’s not just a ploy to get your attention. In...
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air. Their dives can last over an hour when they are looking for an opening in the...
The dark seafloor beneath the ice is covered with sea stars, urchins and ribbon worms looking for their next meal, which can come from sponges, dead animals that float to the sea floor, or even other...
Several species of amphipod like this one, Gammarus wilkitzkii , live permanently within Arctic sea ice . These animals are endemic, meaning they only live here. They acclimate to a wide range of...
Bright colors seem to jump off of this comb jelly, or ctenophore. The rainbow effect appears when light emanates from comb jellies' namesake combs, which are rows of cilia that run up and down their...
It takes special equipment and many warm layers of clothing to dive safely beneath Arctic sea ice . Ice divers look for holes in a melt pond in order to enter the frigid waters.
An emperor penguin chick ( Aptenodytes forsteri ) huddles under its mother's legs to keep warm in the long Antarctic winter. Learn more about research on emperor penguins and other Antarctic...
Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke...
The Boreoatlantic armhook squid ( Gonatus fabricii ) is named for its fabulous (but dangerous) suckers. While most squids have just two rows of suckers lining each arm, armhook squids have four—and...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
The bowhead whale has a massive, bow-shaped skull to break through thick Arctic ice, and more blubber than any other whale.
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