“Sinkers” provide missing piece in deep-sea puzzle

After analyzing hundreds of hours of deep-sea video, Bruce Robison and his colleagues found that "sinkers"—the cast-off mucus nets of small midwater animals called larvaceans—are a significant source of food for deep-sea organisms.



Whale carcass yields bone-devouring worms

Scientists studying a whale carcass in Monterey Canyon recently announced the discovery of two new species of unique worms that feed on the bones of dead whales.



New “bumpy” jelly found in deep sea

Wart-like bumps of stinging cells cover the feeding arms and bell of a newly described deep-sea jelly. The description was published by MBARI biologists in this month’s issue of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

Press Release


Nurseries in the deep sea

Exploring a deep-sea ridge off Northern California, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have discovered a unique undersea nursery, where groups of fish and octopus brood their eggs, like chickens on their nests. This is the first time that marine biologists have directly observed any deep-sea fish brooding its eggs.



Big red jelly surprises scientists

In photographs, it looks like a big red spaceship cruising the ocean depths. But it’s actually a new species of jelly that was discovered and described by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. MBARI scientists published their research on this unusual animal in a recent online version of the journal Marine Biology.



From sardines to anchovies and back in 50 years—Local fisheries part of bigger cycle affecting entire Pacific Ocean

In the late 1930s, California's sardines supported the biggest fishery in the western hemisphere, with more than half a million tons of fish caught each year. By the mid-1950s, the sardines had virtually disappeared. Although fishing pressure may have played a part in this process, new research published in the current issue of Science indicates that the sardines' demise was part of a 50-year cycle that affects not just California, but the entire Pacific Ocean.



MBARI scientist uses genetics to study hydrothermal vent animals

Robert Vrijenhoek, an evolutionary geneticist at MBARI, has spent his career studying how an organism’s genes can shape its interactions with its surroundings, the evolution of its species as a whole, and—if the animal is endangered—its conservation. Thirteen years ago, he turned his attention to the exotic organisms that populate hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.



Underwater robot tested beneath the Arctic ice sheet

After four years of work and numerous test runs in the Monterey Bay, a team of MBARI engineers took the institute's first autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, for a trial cruise in the Arctic Ocean last fall. The group spent a month aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Healy, testing the AUV and its components under and along the Arctic ice sheet.



The geologic setting of the Gulf of California

The Gulf of California sits at the northernmost end of an immense underwater mountain range called the East Pacific Rise, which extends across the Southeastern Pacific Ocean almost to Antarctica.