More Cetaceans

The bowhead whale has a massive, bow-shaped skull to break through thick Arctic ice, and more blubber than any other whale.
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...
Researchers frequently track North Atlantic right whales from ships or from the air. This video of Phoenix (left) was captured in March 2009 on George’s Shoal, east of Chatham, Mass. Learn more about...
A fossil vertebra that a Smithsonian researcher's mother found while prospecting in the Gatun Formation. It's not just any vertebra, it belongs to a fossil sea cow! According to Jorge Valez-Juarbe, a...
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...
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...
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 ...
“At night, spotted dolphins move offshore into the Gulf Stream’s deep waters in search of squid.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Andrew Sallmon. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of...
“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...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
Editor's note: Read Nick's first blog post about "toothed" baleen whales to see what their team is excavating on Vancouver Island. We departed from Port Renfrew on Tuesday morning on the Michelle...
Paleobiologist Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, has packed his bags for an expedition to Panama to excavate a fossil...
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...
This family tree shows how the ancestors of whales moved gradually from land to sea. Early whales took advantage of abundant marine resources, feeding on the ocean's fish, squid and other larger food...
Every North Atlantic right whale has a pattern of callosities unique to that individual. This distinctive pattern provides a very visual, convenient tool that researchers can use to tell one...
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...
The whales that we see in today's world can broadly be split into two groups: those with teeth (odontocetes), and those that have baleen (mysticetes) instead of teeth. These two groups share a common...
This early whale was well suited to life at sea. But it also lived on land. An ancestor of the right whale , Maiacetus lived 49-40 million years ago. It had flipper-like limbs and webbed feet, like...
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