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Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy (#1004), was killed in a collision with a ship near Virginia in February 2004. She was pregnant with her sixth known calf. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a...
Phoenix, the North Atlantic right whale whose replica hangs from the ceiling of the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History, was sighted with a calf off of Amelia Island in Florida...
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...
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...
“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...
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 fossil vertebra that a Smithsonian researcher's mother found while prospecting in the Gatun Formation. It's not just any vertebra, it belongs to a fossil sea cow! According to Jorge Valez-Juarbe, a...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking the North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. More about Phoenix can be found in the Tale of a Whale photo essay .
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...
This ivory sculpture from Point Barrow, Alaska, represents Kikámigo, a guardian spirit, holding a whale in each hand.
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...
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical...
The elegant Antarctic minke whale feeds on krill (tiny crustaceans) during the winter. Groups of minke whales often are found on the edges of pack ice feasting so that they can grow thick layers of...
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...
The evolution of whales represents one of the great stories in macroevolution. It's a narrative that has mostly benefitted from an extraordinary series of fossils recovered from rocks around the...
Scaffolding and supports at the work site hold a life-size model of a North Atlantic right whale Phoenix—the “ambassador” of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural...
There were fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales in 2006. Yet it has been illegal to hunt them since 1935. Why haven’t populations increased? Traits that made right whales easy to hunt make them...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and...
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