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This ivory sculpture from Point Barrow, Alaska, represents Kikámigo, a guardian spirit, holding a whale in each hand.
A North Atlantic right whale with a deep wound caused by entanglement in fishing gear floats at the surface in the Bay of Fundy on August 1, 1999. Crew members on the International Fund for Animal...
New England Aquarium researchers Dr. Moira Brown and Yan Guilbault conducting aerial surveys for North Atlantic right whales over the Roseway Basin, Canada. More about right whales can be found in...
Traveling aboard the Charles W. Morgan , a 173-year-old whaling ship on its 38th Voyage, I’m struck by its paradox: this vessel which spent years chasing and killing whales is now helping us to study...
Phoenix is seen skim feeding off the coast of Maine in August 2004. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law on December 28, 1973 by President Nixon. Over 2,000 species are currently on the ESA, and they are separated into "Threatened" and "Endangered"...
Close-up of a 17th century painting shows how whales were brought ashore for processing and their blubber rendered into marketable oil. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale...
January 14, 1987: Phoenix is first spotted as she swims with her mother, Stumpy, off the coast of Georgia. More about right whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
A time-lapse video shows researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute racing to excavate the fossil of an extinct toothed whale...
During whale hunts, this carved whale box stored harpoon blades like the three shown beside it. "Living" inside the box was meant to give the blades spiritual powers to carry a harpoon back to the...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix that was used to develop a life size model for the Smithsonian shows the location of scars on her mouth from entanglements with fishing gear...
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...
The Smithsonian has more whale skulls and skeletons than any other collection in the world. This photo provides a small glimpse of the amazing variety of skulls and skeletons available for study...
This may look like a mane of hair, but it’s actually baleen from a North Atlantic Right Whale. Although it looks soft and furry, dried baleen is quite stiff, which made it useful for creating...
In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing,...
Zombie worms ( Osedax roseus ) eat away at the bones of a dead whale that has fallen to the seafloor in Sagami Bay, Japan. These bizarre worms rely on whale bones for energy and are what scientists...
Phoenix swimming with her calf in February 2007 in the Southeast calving grounds off the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Researchers track these highly endangered whales (there are only about 450 of...
Sperm whales have conical teeth on their long, narrow, lower jaw. The teeth fit neatly into sockets in the upper jaw, which has no teeth. This arrangement is a perfect adaptation for slurping up soft...
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