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For being so big, right whales eat very small food, which they catch using baleen. Baleen is the series of fringed plates hanging in right whales' mouths that are used to strain seawater for food...
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...
When a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale becomes entangled in fishing gear, members of a response team from the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network spring into action. In the...
Yankee Whalers: An 1856 Currier & Ives print shows whalers harpooning a right whale. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a Whale photo essay .
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 .
This radio device is used to track North Atlantic right whales. Suction cups hold the device to a whale's back, where it records data such as depth, water, temperature, and underwater sounds. These...
Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy (#1004), was killed in a collision with a ship near Virginia in February 2004. She was pregnant with her sixth known calf. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a...
This may look like a mane of hair, but it’s actually baleen from a North Atlantic Right Whale. Although it looks soft and furry, dried baleen is quite stiff, which made it useful for creating...
In December 2003, researchers spotted Phoenix off the coast of Florida with her second calf. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
A North Atlantic right whale with a deep wound caused by entanglement in fishing gear floats at the surface in the Bay of Fundy on August 1, 1999. Crew members on the International Fund for Animal...
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...
This illustration shows how fishing lines attached to traps and buoys on the ocean floor present a potentially deadly hazard to North Atlantic right whales. Freeing entangled whales involves a...
A model marker applies paint to the life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix which today is on exhibit in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National...
This close-up photo of a right whale's head shows dozens of hitchhikers—tiny crustaceans known as whale lice, or cyamid amphipods. They live on the rough patches of skin (known as callosities) on...
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...
In the late 1990's, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) invented the D-Tag —a radio device that can be attached by suction cups to a whale's back. Using a tiny underwater...
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...
Phoenix rises out of the waters east of Cape Cod, MA, in April 2003. The rough patches of skin (known as callosities) occur in unique patterns on all North Atlantic right whales and help researchers...
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