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Ocean Life

Reef-building corals create habitats for many other organisms. Coral reefs are highly diverse and unique around the world, providing shelter and sustenance for abundant fishes and other marine life. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


emperor penguin

Emperor Penguins

Deep-living, transparent, and heart-shaped, this ctenophore (or comb-jelly) is called <em>Thalassocalyce,</em> which means "sea chalice." Like all ctenophores, it is predatory, catching prey with sticky secretions. (Photo by Larry Madin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Jellyfish & Other Zooplankton

Tubeworms, clams, and crabs at a hydrothermal vent site. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Life at Vents & Seeps

A humpback whale shows it's tail, or fluke, off shore from the Unites States Antarctic Program's Palmer Station (Photo by Tyler Rohr, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Marine Mammals

Dozens of oval bacteria coat the membrane of this microorganism, known as a protist, collected from the sulfidic, anoxic Cariaco Basin off the coast of Venezuela. This pairing is probably an example of mutualistic symbiosis, a close relationship between two species in which both parties benefit. These organisms were collected by WHOI biologist Ginny Edgcomb and post-doctoral fellow Bill Orsi. (Scanning electron micrograph by William Orsi, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Microbial Life

Ocean Twilight Zone

Diatoms are one of several major types of marine phytoplankton. These microorganisms that live near the ocean surface and convert carbon dioxide into organic carbon via photosynthesis. They produce much of the oxygen we breathe and are the base of the marine food chain. They also play an important role in drawing heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the ocean. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


right whale permit

Right Whales

A whale shark in the Red Sea. (Photo by Simon Thorrold, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Sharks & Other Fish