More Smithsonian collections

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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
This ivory sculpture from Point Barrow, Alaska, represents Kikámigo, a guardian spirit, holding a whale in each hand.
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 .
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...
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 —...
This venomous box jelly ( Chiropsalmus quadrumanus ) was collected off the coast of South Carolina. The specimen now resides in the Smithsonian’s marine collection . It's venomous sting can be lethal...
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...
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...
The robotic arm of a Pisces submersible collects a gold coral colony ( Gerardia sp.) during a research cruise in the Hawaiian Islands. Ocean scientists have radiocarbon-dated some Gerardia specimens...
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...
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