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The Ocean Blog

The critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal ( Monachus schauinslandi ) is one of hundreds of marine species that can be found cruising the waters of Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest...
The long toothy rostrum or “saw” gives sawfish their common name. They use the saw to dig in the sand for crustaceans or to attack prey by vigorously slashing from side to side. This smalltooth...
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...
The Papahānaumokuākea site in the United States was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2010. The site is a vast isolated cluster of small low-lying islands and atolls with its surrounding ocean...
The Shiretoko site in Japan was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005. The site’s key feature is its exceptional productivity, largely resulting from the formation of relatively low-latitude...
Staghorn (seen here) and elkhorn corals are listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. They are the only coral species currently listed, but 66 other coral species have been proposed for...
Stretching up to 16.8 meters (55 feet) long and weighing up to 62 tons (70 tons), the North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s largest animals—and one of the most endangered whales...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
Largely due to overfishing, the Southern Bluefin Tuna is listed as " critically endangered ." If its population continues to decline, the species faces the possibility of extinction. It's not alone...
A view of the injured fluke belonging to Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy. It is not known what caused this injury. It possibly could have been an entanglement. More about whales can be found in our Tale of...
Forensics is a key tool for enforcing the laws and treaties that protect marine animals. Investigators in a recent case used DNA analysis to track down and convict sea turtle poachers. All seven...
A drawing of Phoenix from the Right Whale Catalog documents her callosity pattern and other identifying marks. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
The Socotra Archipelago site in Yemen was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. The marine life is diverse and includes 283 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of...
Researchers have identified five areas of high North Atlantic right whale concentration between Canada and Florida. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story.
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of krakens, sea serpents, sea monsters and other fantastic creatures. They helped to bring the mysterious ocean into the more...
Endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles now have nearly 42,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean to call their own. Thanks to a decision in January 2012 by the National Marine Fisheries Service, these...
Extinction is a real possibility for three species of tunas. That’s one of the messages from a new study released today online in the journal Science . Researchers assessed the range and populations...
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