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October 31, 2018
Contact: Heather Soulen

Spooktacular Smartphone Wallpaper Gallery

You’ve decorated your home, you’ve picked out your costume, and now you can decorate your smartphone! Enjoy these 13 ghoulishly creepy images especially curated to use as wallpaper for your smartphone. Download your favorite today!


Deadly Dragonfish

Dragonfish live in the deep sea, in almost total darkness. They have a long, glowing barbel on their lower jaw used to attract prey. The glow is produced by a special organ known as a photophore. Sometimes dragonfish, like this one, are caught during our fisheries surveys. In 2017, this dragonfish was caught during our Ecological Monitoring (EcoMon) survey. Read about it in this EcoMon survey blog.


Gruesome Goosefish

Goosefish, also known as monkfish (Lophius americanus), are large, slow-growing and bottom-dwelling anglerfish prized for their tail meat by fishermen and seafoodies. As a marine resource, they are one of this region’s most valuable bringing in approximately $20 million in 2016. Cooperative research projects supported by the Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program help us better understand monkfish biology and ecology for sustainable management of this species. Learn more about the 2018/2019 Monkfish Research Set-Aside Program.


Freaky Flatfish

Flatfish like flounders, soles, and halibut are a little freakish. They all undergo a unique physical metamorphosis that includes the migration of one eye from one side of its head to the other. The larval flatfish pictured here hasn’t completed the metamorphosis. Learn more about when and where this larval flatfish was caught in this 2017 EcoMon survey blog.

Sand Tiger Shark's Eye

Spooky Sand Tiger Shark

Sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) are a bottom-dwelling coastal shark distributed from the Gulf of Maine to Florida, including Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, and Bermuda. Scientists from our Apex Predators Program conduct surveys to monitor and study known and suspected shark nursery habitat. The work is part of the Cooperative Atlantic States Shark Pupping and Nursery (COASTSPAN) Program. Learn more about COASTSPAN and our Apex Predators Program in this feature story.

phronima amphipod
Phronima amphipod

Petrifying Phronima Amphipod

This amphipod is said to be the inspiration for the chest-busting xenomorph in the movie "Alien" and its sequels. They have impressive front claws that help them attach to salps so they can hollow them out like a Halloween jack-o'-lantern. Why? So it can climb in and sail the ocean blue, collecting food from the water column and sheltering its babies. More about this amphipod in this EcoMon Survey blog.


Ominous Octopus

This little octopus was photographed by a fisheries observer as it was crawling around the deck of a commercial fishing vessel. Did you know that in 2017, fisheries observers in our Northeast Fisheries Observer Program sailed on 1041 vessels from 11 states and 125 ports? Learn more about our Northeast Fisheries Observer Program.

Turtle Skeleton

Spine-Chilling Sea Turtle

Because sea turtles are reptiles, their body temperature depends on the environment, making them susceptible to sudden changes in water temperatures. In the fall and early winter when water temperatures cool, sea turtle movement and function slow and their heart rates drop. When this happens they can become weak and wash ashore. Last fall hundreds of endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii) stranded on Cape Cod beaches because of sudden drops in water temperatures. Our Science Aquarium took in 12 to help with their recovery. Learn more about the rescued sea turtles in this feature story and about our veterinarian who cared for them in this Q&A.


Vicious Viperfish

Viperfish are a deep-sea fish found in the tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. They’re easily recognized by their large mouth and sharp fang-like teeth. Viperfish use a light-producing organ called a photophore to help attract prey. They have hinged skulls to help them consume large prey and can stock up on prey when prey is plentiful because they have an extra large stomach where it can be stored. What other fish have photophores? Find out in our online fish and shark quiz.


Wicked Wolffish

The Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is widely distributed on both sides of the North Atlantic and in the Arctic. They’re typically found in rocky habitat -- habitat that is better fished or sampled with gears other than bottom trawls. Scientists from our Cooperative Research Program teamed up with members of the commercial fishing industry to collect data on fish that use these kinds of habitats. The Cooperative Gulf of Maine Bottom Longline Survey aims to collect more data in these areas that later can be added to other resource survey data. Learn more about this work in this feature story.

red gapers
Red Gaper

Rotten Red Gaper

Red gapers or redeye gaper (Chaunax stigmaeus) have sacs underneath their skin that they can pump water into, inflating their bodies so they look bigger than they really are. These two were sampled during the 2004 Monkfish Survey. Check out our image gallery for more photos of fish, marine mammals, invertebrates and more!


Sinister Stargazer

The northern stargazer (Astroscopus guttatus) can be found along the Atlantic Coast from New York to North Carolina. They eat small fish, crabs and other crustaceans. To feed they bury themselves in the sediment with their eyes and mouth barely sticking out. As prey near, they use their large mouth to create a vacuum that sucks prey in. To see this photo and many others, check out our fisheries observer image gallery.

bluntnose stingray
Bluntnose Stingray

Bloodcurdling Bluntnose Stingray

Bluntnose stingrays (Dasyatis say) can be found from New Jersey to southern Brazil. They have a distinctive blunt snout and a long tail armed with a venomous, barbed spine. This is a photo of an embryo, or baby ray. Find this photo and other ray photos in our image gallery.

Atlantic Sea Nettle

Supernatural Sea Nettle

Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) are highly migratory and live in the tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Their diet primarily consists of gelatinous zooplankton, including the Atlantic sea nettle (Chrysaora quinquecirrha). In 2018, researchers tested a new suction cup tag designed to monitor leatherbacks movements and behavior. Each tagged turtle has a video camera attached so researchers can see when and what they’re eating, how they interact with the environment and more. Learn more about this research in this feature story.