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National Museum of Natural History Species of the Day Collection

Last updated over 1 year ago

This Collection contains a complete archive of all creatures featured on the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History's "Species of the Day" feature on its home page ( since 20 April 2010. The sort field contains the month and day of the last time a creature was shown. Those shown more than a year ago have '999' in the sort field.

To nominate a species, please leave us a comment in the Newsfeed with your suggestion, including why you think it would make a great Species of the Day! If you can paste a link to the species you are interested in, that would also be helpful.

  • 28246_88_88

    Letepsammia formosissima

    This is one of 14 living species in the deep-sea coral family Micrabaciidae, some of which occur to a depth of 5000 meters.

    Sort value: 999

  • 26811_88_88

    Assiminea infima

    Badwater Snail

    The Badwater Snail is known only from several highly mineralized springs in Death Valley, California, where annual precipitation averages less than 3 cm and temperatures range from winter lows near freezing to summer maximums above 50 C (122 F).

    Sort value: 999

  • 54539_88_88

    Malacosteus niger

    Northern Stoplight Loosejaw

    This remarkable fish is able to see far-red light using chlorophyll as part of a stealthy foraging strategy.

    Sort value: 999

  • 97588_88_88

    Champia parvula (C. Agardh) Harvey

    Barrel Weed

    Barrel Weed is a red alga with a very broad geographic range extending from the tropics into the cold temperate zone in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

    Sort value: 999

  • 49267_88_88

    Dugong dugon


    The endangered Dugong is a large marine mammal related to manatees.

    Sort value: 999

  • 98090_88_88

    Lepidochelys kempii

    Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

    Kemp's Ridley Turtle is a severely endangered marine turtle found mainly in the Gulf of Mexico; its recovery is likely to be set back by the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

    Sort value: 999

  • 51331_88_88

    Seriola dumerili

    Greater Amberjack

    The Greater Amberjack is an important gamefish with a nearly worldwide distribution in warm waters.

    Sort value: 999

  • 06356_88_88

    Eubalaena glacialis

    North Atlantic Right Whale

    The North Atlantic Right Whale is a critically endangered species, with just a few hundred individuals remaining.

    Sort value: 999

  • 71737_88_88

    Halodule wrightii

    Shoal Grass

    Shoal Grass is a “seagrass” that may form carpet-like beds in warm, shallow waters from the southeastern United States to South America.

    Sort value: 999

  • 82471_88_88

    Parborlasia corrugatus

    Proboscis Worm

    This large ribbon worm is often conspicuous in marine habitats across South American, sub-Antarctic, and Antarctic regions.

    Sort value: 999

  • 21180_88_88

    Litopenaeus setiferus

    Northern White Shrimp

    The impacts of the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on shrimp fisheries are expected to have a devastating economic, as well as ecological, impact on the Gulf Coast.

    Sort value: 999

  • 09345_88_88

    Ammodramus maritimus (A. Wilson, 1811)

    Seaside Sparrow

    The Seaside Sparrow is more closely tied to salt marshes than any other North American songbird.

    Sort value: 999

  • 37018_88_88

    Laterallus jamaicensis

    Farallon Rail

    The Black Rail is a highly secretive and infrequently observed marsh bird that is likely to suffer if the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico significantly affects coastal marshes.

    Sort value: 999

  • 79183_88_88

    Okanagana rimosa

    Say's Cicada

    This cicada was first described by the pioneering American naturalist Thomas Say (1787-1834), who named thousands of species of insects and mollusks and whose birthday is today (June 27).

    Sort value: 999

  • 98492_88_88

    Eulampis jugularis

    Purple-throated Carib

    Males of this beautiful hummingbird defend some flowers for their own food and other flowers as food for intruding females (potential mates).

    Sort value: 999

  • 78382_88_88

    Paralichthys albigutta

    Gulf Flounder

    The Gulf Flounder is among the many fish species likely to be negatively impacted by the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Sort value: 999

  • 26730_88_88

    Aegle marmelos

    Indian Bael

    The large fruits of the Indian Bael tree can pose a hazard when falling from the tree, but cracking one open with a hammer or machete reveals a thick, sweet pulp that may be used to make a sweetened drink similar to lemonade.

    Sort value: 999

  • 33612_88_88

    Plodia interpunctella

    Pantry Moth

    The all too familiar Indianmeal Moth may be the most important pest of dried goods in homes and food storage facilities worldwide.

    Sort value: 999

  • 27092_88_88

    Chromis abyssus

    Deep Blue Chromis

    This species was the first to have its name officially registered in ZooBank, a resource launched in 2008 that is intended to be the official online registry for zoological nomenclature.

    Sort value: 999

  • 41584_88_88

    Istiophorus platypterus

    Indo-pacific Sailfish

    Sailfish populations around the globe are now often considered to belong to a single species, Istiophorus platypterus, but some experts continue to recognize two distinct species, the Atlantic Sailfish (Istiophora albicans) and the Indo-Pacific Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus).

    Sort value: 07.19

  • 50712_88_88

    Limacina helicina

    Arctic Pteropod

    This mollusk is a key organism in polar pelagic ecosystems, where it can can account for 50% of total zooplankton abundance.

    Sort value: 09.04

  • 84554_88_88

    Lutjanus campechanus

    Red Snapper

    Red Snapper populations, which are found in the Gulf of Mexico and around the southeatern Atlantic coast of the United States, have been overfished, and marine conservation organizations currently discourage consumption of this species.

    Sort value: 02.25