More Right whales

The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
Phoenix swims in George’s Bank, off the coast of New England, on March 13, 2009. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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...
Whalers harpoon a right whale in this 1856 Currier & Ives print.
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 .
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 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...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix indicates the location of scars on her tail from entanglements with fishing gear. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a...
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,...
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 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...
Hear how research unfolds at sea in a tiny Zodiac surrounded by creatures that measure longer than a city bus. Playing female whale calls into the water, researcher Susan Parks suddenly finds herself...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix, one of the last North Atlantic right whales living today. It's estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these whales alive today. Read her story...
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...
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 is North Atlantic right whale #3333 who was spotted with fishing gear trailing from his mouth during an aerial survey off the coast of Georgia on January 29, 2008. Entanglement is one of the...
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