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The Ocean Blog

Charles Potter (left) and Dr. James Mead of the Smithsonian perform a post-mortem examination on a goose-beaked whale specimen sent to them by colleagues at Portland State University.
At the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Dr. Wayne Sousa (right) studies how gaps in the canopy caused by lightning help mangrove forests regenerate. More about mangroves can be...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologists have been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada . The site and the artifacts that have been recovered has...
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...
Scientists journey to the isolated island of Moorea on a quest to catalog every life form big enough to pick up with tweezers—from mountaintop to seafloor. Get up close and personal with researchers...
Last week, Smithsonian research zoologists Dr. Jerry Harasewych and Dr. Martha Nizinski were in Curaçao looking for deep-sea marine gastropods and decapod crustaceans , respectively. I learned they...
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...
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...
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...
Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and...
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...
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 whales that we see in today's world can broadly be split into two groups: those with teeth (odontocetes), and those that have baleen (mysticetes) instead of teeth. These two groups share a common...
In Edgewater, Maryland, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center examine the influences of climate change, excess nutrients, and surrounding habitats on mangroves. They have also...
Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.
Dr. Carole Baldwin , a research zoologist and fish expert with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, gives viewers an inside-look at the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). She and...
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
Geo-archaeologist Jean-Daniel Stanley studies ancient settlements submerged near Egypt’s Nile Delta. Analyzing how natural and human-induced processes caused their sinking may help us protect...
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