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Dr. Stefan Huggenberger from the University of Cologne explains sound production in sperm whales in "Moby Dick's Boom Box: Nasal Complex of Sperm Whales," a presentation at the Smithsonian's National...
Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi ,...
Large whales are notoriously hard to study. Except when rising to breathe, they swim beneath the ocean's surface out of human sight, which makes it difficult to find and track them. They often live...
These are fossil remains of archaeocetes, ancient whales, from the Paracas Formation of Peru's Pisco Basin . Smithsonian paleobiologist Nicholas D. Pyenson and a team of scientists discovered the...
Phoenix swimming with her calf in February 2007 in the Southeast calving grounds off the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Researchers track these highly endangered whales (there are only about 450 of...
My graduate student Jorge and I are departing today for Panama, to excavate a fossil whale that was discovered by an undergraduate student working with Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute...
A life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix hangs in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. More about...
The yellow features in this 3-D reconstruction of a fin whale fetal skull represent the early developmental stages of ear bones, characteristics that are extremely rare, fragile and nearly impossible...
In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing,...
Bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) are very social animals, and often travel and hunt in groups called pods. The most common is a nursery group of 5-20 dolphins made up of females and their...
Paeleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), set out with Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NMNH Research Student and Ph...
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Phoenix was photographed swimming off the coast of Canada in the Bay of Fundy in August 2007. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin that, despite its name, is not closely related to the killer whale, although they are both in the same family, Delphinidae ...
“I took this photograph of spinner dolphins in calm waters off the Ogasawara Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles south of Tokyo.When the sun briefly broke through the clouds...
Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs . Currently, only a single species of seacow is found anywhere in the world. However, the fossil record of...
A team from the Center for Coastal Studies works to free a one-year-old right whale from the fishing ropes wrapped and knotted around its body and flippers. The whale is Kingfisher, #3346 in the...
There were fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales in 2006. Yet it has been illegal to hunt them since 1935. Why haven’t populations increased? Traits that made right whales easy to hunt make them...
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