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The Ocean Blog

My graduate student Jorge and I are departing today for Panama, to excavate a fossil whale that was discovered by an undergraduate student working with Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute...
Editor's note: Read Nick's first blog post about "toothed" baleen whales to see what their team is excavating on Vancouver Island. We departed from Port Renfrew on Tuesday morning on the Michelle...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several...
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...
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes the belugas and narwhals swimming our ocean today, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, their fossil record, although scarce, suggests that...
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...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix indicates the location of scars on her tail from entanglements with fishing gear. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a...
The Smithsonian Marine Mammal team moves into action after a dead sperm whale is spotted floating off Cape Hatteras, N.C. Smithsonian marine mammalogist Dr. James Mead is in the water.
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 .
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Learn more about how scientists are using bioacoustics to study and protect whales .
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...
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...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) are big, but they're not the biggest whales. That distinction goes to the Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ), the...
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...
When a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale becomes entangled in fishing gear, members of a response team from the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Network spring into action. In the...
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...
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...
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 .
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