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The Ocean Blog

A close up view of Phoenix and the rough patches of skin known as callosities that are found on all North Atlantic right whales . These callosities are inhabited by small amphipods called whale lice...
Whalers harpoon a right whale in this 1856 Currier & Ives print.
The rough patches of skin known as callosities occur in unique patterns on all North Atlantic right whales and help researchers identify and track individual whales. This whale is named Phoenix. More...
Toothed whales, like this common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis ) and its calf, live in social groups called pods. The mother and calf form a pair that shares a long-term bond. Read more about toothed...
A team from the Center for Coastal Studies works to free a one-year-old right whale from the fishing ropes wrapped and knotted around its body and flippers. The whale is Kingfisher, #3346 in the...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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 .
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...
A drawing of Phoenix from the Right Whale Catalog documents her callosity pattern and other identifying marks. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
“This humpback uses its lower jaw to strain fish off the water’s surface as sea birds snatch their own meals right out of the whale’s open mouth.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Bryce Flynn. See more...
Beluga whales are naturally vocal animals. They are often called “ canaries of the sea ” thanks to their wide repertoire of sounds such as whistles, squeals, moos, chirps, and clicks. Some...
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...
A male sperm whale feeding near the surface. Sperm whales are a toothed whale , rather than a baleen whale , and are found throughout the world's oceans.
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
After a few long days of hard work on the island, we were finally able to excavate and remove , not just one, but two skeletons of an early "toothed" baleen whale from the rocks near the Carmanah...
North Atlantic right whales and ocean-going vessels often cross paths. Researchers have worked to show the interactions between whales and ships in order to protect the whales from collision. More...
Marine mammals around the world face many challenges due to interactions with people, from overfishing and entanglement to vessel strikes and disturbance from human sounds. Dr. Brandon Southall...
These are fossil remains of archaeocetes, ancient whales, from the Paracas Formation of Peru's Pisco Basin . Smithsonian paleobiologist Nicholas D. Pyenson and a team of scientists discovered the...
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