Ocean Life

I spy a pilot whale

This spy-hopping adult female short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) was photographed offshore of Hawai‘i Island while checking out the Cascadia…

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Unless warming is slowed, emperor penguins will be marching towards extinction

Emperor penguins are some of the most striking and charismatic animals on Earth, but a new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has found that a warming climate may render them extinct by the end of this century. The study, which was part of an international collaboration between scientists, published Nov. 7, 2019, in the journal Global Change Biology.

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How Interconnected Is Life in the Ocean?

The Scientist

To help create better conservation and management plans, researchers are measuring how marine organisms move between habitats and populations.

Falling in love with foraminifera

WHOI Senior Scientist Joan Bernhard holds a synthetic model of a foram species known as Astrammina

A marine geobiologist falls for the ‘brains’ and beauty of an ancient single-celled creature that can change its shell into a variety of geometric shapes.

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Mola mola parade

A formation of four mola mola (ocean sunfish) paraded through the water past the starboard side of #RVNeilArmstrong last week, while mooring operations continued on the Ocean Observatories Initiative Pioneer Array, 130 miles southeast of Martha’s Vineyard. These giant omnivores are the largest bony fish (Osteichthyes) in the ocean, measuring up to 11 feet in height and weighing up to 2.5 tons. They get their common name from the fact that they can be sometimes be found turned sideways on the ocean surface basking in the sun. Leo Fitz, who has crewed on WHOI ships for decades said he’s never been so fortunate to see so many at once: ‘Never, it’s always one! Never THIS many!”

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What Is a Sea Cucumber?


Sea cucumbers are marine invertebrates that live on the seafloor. Their tube-shaped feet serve mainly to anchor the limbless creatures to the seafloor, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).