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The Ocean Blog

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...
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...
This male giant squid is on display in the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History . It measures about 2.7 meters (9 feet) long and weighs a little more than 45.5...
Dive into the Gulf of Mexico without getting wet! The Smithsonian has recently uploaded some of its marine collections from that region onto Google Earth's Ocean Layer . Now you can go where our...
The fossil tooth whorl of the ancient shark Helicoprion , dating back 290 million years before present. For a long time, people didn't know what the shark looked like—but, thanks to a CT scan of a...
This ivory sculpture from Point Barrow, Alaska, represents Kikámigo, a guardian spirit, holding a whale in each hand.
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...
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...
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...
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes living belugas and narwhals, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, the fossil record shows that these animals had a much larger range than the...
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...
Giant squid have the largest eye in the animal kingdom. At up to 10 inches in diameter, people often describe it as the size of a dinner plate -- or, in other words, as big as a human head. Here,...
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...
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 —...
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