More Smithsonian collections

In 1895, two Smithsonian scientists described a new kind of deep sea creature, which they named the “whalefish.” Little did they know, this fish would become one of the prime suspects in an...
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...
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...
As soon as Dampier set foot in Australia, he began making observations and collecting specimens of plants, which he carefully pressed between the pages of books to be studied by the “ingenious” and “...
A mass of white muscle the size of a softball surrounds the dark brown beak of a giant squid. Learn more about this animal's oversized anatomy in our Giant Squid section .
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...
A behind the scenes look at the NMNH ocean-related collections and their importance to research and discovery.
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...
In 1954 Smithsonian researchers dissected this squid specimen from the stomach of a lancetfish and added it to the Museum’s squid collection. Almost 50 years later, it helped scientists identify a...
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...
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...
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...
What happens to deep-sea coral samples after they are collected? In this image gallery, see some of the ways ocean scientists sort, measure, photograph, and study them. Learn more in the multimedia...
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...
How do you get two dead Giant Squid the size of a school bus from a fishing boat in Spain to Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.? Call in the U.S. Navy! In this...
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...
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...
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