Oceans

The launch of new satellites later this year could make the job of identifying stranded whales from space even more effective.

Satellites Can Spot Beached Whales From Space

Very high resolution satellites give scientists a new way to find out when and where a large-bodied whale, such as a humpback or a sperm, is stranded

A tiger shark swims in the Bahamas. Over the past several decades, the predators ventured farther north in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

Some Tiger Sharks Are Migrating Farther North Due to Climate Change

The predator’s movements in the Atlantic Ocean could scramble ecosystems and endanger the sharks by sending them outside marine protected areas

Little is known about most magnapinnid, or bigfin squid, species. The individual pictured here was spotted by the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer in the Gulf of Mexico. Recently, a magnapinnid was filmed in the Philippine Trench—the deepest ever sighting of a squid.

Scientists Find the World's Deepest-Dwelling Squid

Researchers went looking for a war wreck roughly 19,000 feet under the sea—and spotted the animal instead

Though ichthyosaurs and whales never existed at the same time, they both evolved from species that walked on Earth and transitioned to the sea. 

Earth's Oldest Ocean Giant Was a Reptile With an Eight-Foot Skull

The newly discovered specimen sheds light on how the sea creatures, known as ichthyosaurs, evolved their gargantuan size so quickly

A restoration of the extinct whale Phiomicetus, named by paleontologists earlier this year, preying upon a sawfish.

Whales Once Walked Along the Coasts of North America

Increasing fossil finds are helping researchers understand how such early whales made their way to the continent

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

A humpback whale and her calf swim underwater. A recent study in Nature found whales eat and poop way more than previously thought—and that feces plays an important role in fertilizing the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2021

From the discovery of a large bioluminescent shark to the use of an innovative drone to study hurricanes, these are the best marine stories of the year

When a surfer reported this fish on the beach, biologists rushed to see what it was. 

For the Third Time This Year, a Deep-Ocean 'Football' Fish Has Washed Ashore California's Beaches

Prior to this year, a beached specimen hadn't been seen since 2001

Large amounts of plastic trash accumulated in Ballona Creek in Culver City, California.

Plastic-Degrading Enzymes May Be Increasing in Response to Pollution

One in every four organisms in the microbiomes they surveyed carries a plastic-degrading protein sequence

In the video, Wheaton, a veterinarian, and his board appear tiny compared to the colossal bony fish. While the sunfish's dimensions are unknown, when comparing it to Wheaton's 14 foot-long board, the sunfish may have been anywhere between nine to ten feet long. (Pictured: Matt Wheaton)

Holy Mola! Watch This Colossal Ocean Sunfish Swim With Paddle Boarders Off the California Coast

Also known as a mola, the fish are harmless to people but are extremely curious and will approach divers

In the video, the giant jellyfish's large bell is seen pulsing and glowing a faint orange as it floats in the dark abyss.

Watch This Giant Phantom Jellyfish With 33-Foot-Long Arms Float Through the Deep Ocean

The footage was captured by a remote-operated vehicle about 3,200 feet below the surface in Monterey Bay, California

The hydra’s unusual ability to regenerate parts of its body makes the creatures biologically immortal. 

How Tiny, 'Immortal' Hydras Regrow Their Lost Heads

A new analysis pinpoints different genes behind the tiny animal's ability to regenerate body parts

Healthy reef habitats are usually alive with the diverse sounds of marine life.

Bizarre Fish Songs Raise Hope for Coral Reef Recovery

Audio recordings show a once-dying ecosystem has transformed into a lively soundscape

Human-caused pollution is killing the seagrass that manatees feed on.

Florida Wildlife Officials Move to Feed Starving Manatees in Experimental Conservation Approach

The unprecedented feeding plan comes as more than 1,000 manatees—about 15 percent of the state’s total population—have died this year

A squid swims in the dark waters of the Mediterranean. Billions of aquatic animals, from krill to squid, travel to surface waters each night, a migration that scientists are only beginning to fully grasp.

What Drives Aquatic Animals to Make Vertical Migrations?

Researchers are trying to shed light on what leads many water dwellers—from plankton to large fish—to commute daily from the depths to the surface

Plastic makes up 80 percent of all marine debris found, from surface waters to deep-sea sediments 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Hosts Life in the Open Ocean

Coastal plants and animals are thriving on the plastic debris, posing potential ecological risks

Until recently, scientists knew relatively little about the lives of birds on the open North Atlantic. But a group of researchers has identified a habitat in the ocean teeming with great shearwaters and other seabirds.

Regulators Look to Protect a Seabird Hotspot in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean

Scientists have identified a key seabird feeding ground in need of safeguarding

By mating with the same partner each year, the albatross couples build trust, communication and coordination to help them raise demanding chicks successfully.

Albatrosses Mate for Life, but Climate Change Has Doubled Their 'Divorce' Rates

Food scarcity is causing the birds to return late for mating season, which decreases the chance of successfully hatching a chick

A growing body of work shows that marine animals are attracted to the sounds of healthy environments.

Playing Recordings of a Healthy Ocean Can Help Restore Marine Ecosystems

Scientists are using a 'fake it til you make it' approach to attract animals to coral reefs and other degraded habitats

Aside from discovering the fascinating geology of the Gulf’s floor, the team also found diverse sea life thriving on or near the vents and their mineral structures. Researchers photographed tubeworms living on or near the vents seen here.

Kaleidoscope of Deep-Sea Life Found Near Hydrothermal Vents Off Mexican Coast

Some of these unique features reached temperatures up to 549 degrees Fahrenheit

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