More Cetaceans

The rough patches of skin known as callosities occur in unique patterns on all North Atlantic right whales and help researchers identify and track individual whales. This whale is named Phoenix. More...
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...
The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin that, despite its name, is not closely related to the killer whale. Instead, it's named for similarities in their skull shapes...
Two North Atlantic right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) swim at the surface of the water. Learn more about this species in the North Atlantic Right Whale section.
Whales have existed for million of years. Watch this animation, from the Sant Ocean Hall , to see how they evolved from land-dwellers to the animals we know today. Discover more about whale evolution...
This photograph was snapped as Phoenix swam in the Gulf of Maine in July 2008. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix that was used to develop a life size model for the Smithsonian shows the location of scars on her mouth from entanglements with fishing gear...
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 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 .
Nick Pyenson, the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, points to the skull and skeleton of a fossil "toothed" mysticete ( baleen whale ) on the...
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...
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...
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...
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...
On a beach in Piña, Panama the tide is rolling out. Faint outlines of skeletal remains rise above the sand. Smithsonian scientists Nicholas Pyenson and Aaron O'Dea along with a team of students...
A right whale opens its mouth wide, revealing huge plates of baleen hanging from its upper jaw. There are between 200 and 270 baleen plates on each side of a right whale's upper jaw. They work like a...
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