More Smithsonian collections

This photo shows just a small part of the cephalopod collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Shown here is Dr. Clyde Roper , a zoologist and squid expert. More about the...
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...
This deep sea creature, the whalefish ( Cetomimidae ), has a whale-like body, a gaping mouth, no fins or scales and a deep lateral line, which detects vibrations in the water. The first specimens...
There are about 4 million specimens in the fish collection housed at the National Museum of Natural History . It is the largest of its kind in the world. Learn how these collections helped to solve...
When he was 10 years old, Stephen Cairns lived in Cuba where he kept a collection of butterflies and sea shells. When his family moved to Louisiana, he could bring only one of the collections with...
This video tour gives you a glimpse of how to explore Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History collections using Google Earth. To take your own tour, download Google Earth and...
Rachel Caauwe was one of a dozen artists who spent a recent Saturday sketching specimens from the Smithsonian's musky-scented marine mammal collection . Here she's shown drawing the remains of a...
Models of a giant squid and an octopus hang over display cases in the "Lower Invertebrates" exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution Building ("the Castle") in 1901. The Smithsonian has been conducting...
Classic examples of Northwest Coast art, these rattles from British Columbia illustrate the sophisticated way of life salmon helped provide. They were used during shamanistic performances to cure...
The US Fish Commission Steamer Albatross (1882-1921) sailed approximately one million miles, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and collected millions of organisms. The Albatross had a special and...
Dr. Clyde Roper recounts the tale of his encounter with a giant squid specimen ( Architeuthis dux) that was found washed up on a Massachusetts beach in this excerpt from "Eyeball to Eyeball," an...
An array of teeth from the sand tiger shark Carcharias taurus . The Smithsonian has the largest collection of shark teeth in the world, with more than 90,000 fossil shark teeth. More about sharks and...
Smithsonian zoologist Dr. Steve Cairns named and described this deep-sea coral species, Stephanocyathus paliferus, which is now preserved in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History...
This map shows the localities represented by the Gulf of Mexico collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian has been collaborating with the...
This year marks 100 years since the National Museum of Natural History opened its doors, but the Smithsonian’s work in marine science dates back more than 160 years. In fact, our marine collection —...
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...
In 2003, a team of Japanese scientists analyzed the DNA of tapetails and whalefish. The results suggested that these two very different looking fishes were almost identical in one specific gene. But...
These corals from the Smithsonian collections are Stephanocyathus (A.) spiniger , a solitary, deep-water stony coral species. Around 74% of all deep-water corals are solitary, living as individual...
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