Tag: Ocean Life

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

Are horseshoe crabs really crabs?

Horsehoe crab mating season, Lewes, Delaware. Image credit: Jacqueline Bedell Despite their common name, horseshoe crabs are not really crabs (crustaceans). Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus), which swarm U.S. coastlines each summer...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is a pelagic fish?

Oceanic pelagic fish, such as the tuna pictured above, have agile bodies made for long distance migration. Many oceanic pelagic fish travel in schools while some are solitary that drift with ocean currents. Pelagic fish can be categorized as c...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is an artificial reef?

Can you spot the sunken ship? In June 2002, the retired USS Spiegel Grove  was sunk in waters off Key Largo. At 510 feet (155.45 meters) long, the ship was, at the time, the largest vessel ever intentionally scuttled for the purpose of creating an...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

Are there oceans on other planets?

Europa is thought to have subsurface liquid water. Scientists hypothesize that Europa's hidden ocean is salty, tidal, and causes its ice surface to move, resulting in large fractures which are clearly visible in the above image. Although Europa i...

Natural History / Natural History - 4 years ago

What is a slough?

South Slough is a 4,771-acre National Estuarine Research Reserve located on Coos Bay Estuary in Oregon (Image credit: South Slough NERR). A slough is typically used to describe wetlands. Sloughs along the edges of rivers form where the old cha...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

Was Moby Dick a real whale?

Illustrations from Moby-Dick, published in 1851 and authored by Herman Melville. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, the allegorical novel about Captain Ahab’s search to kill a great white whale, was based on real-life events. Born in 1819, author Herma...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

What is a bivalve mollusk?

A roughfile clam from the Flower Garden Bank National Marine Sanctuary—just one of many different bivalve mollusk species. Like fish, bivalve mollusks breathe through their gills. As filter feeders, bivalves gather food through their gills. So...

Natural History / Natural History - 5 years ago

What is ocean acidification?

What is ocean acidification? Watch our video for a quick overview. For more than 200 years, or since the industrial revolution, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased due to the burning of fossil fuels and l...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

Are mermaids real?

Statue of a sailor mermaid from Portsmouth, Virginia. Mermaids - those half-human, half-fish sirens of the sea — are legendary sea creatures chronicled in maritime cultures since time immemorial. The ancient Greek epic poet Homer wrote of them...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What is sea foam?

Sea Foam at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. If you scoop up some water from the ocean in a clear glass and look at it closely, you'll see that it's chock full of tiny particles. Seawater contains dissolved salts, proteins, fats, dead algae, dete...

Natural History / Natural History - 6 years ago

What are Christmas tree worms?

Christmas tree worms come in a variety of bright colors. They aren’t very big, averaging about 1.5 inches in length. You won’t find Spirobranchus giganteus, also known as the Christmas tree worm, eating your fir tree this year. The common name...