More Whales

A right whale opens its mouth wide, revealing huge plates of baleen hanging from its upper jaw. There are between 200 and 270 baleen plates on each side of a right whale's upper jaw. They work like a...
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...
A giant squid engages in a struggle for survival with a sperm whale. Giant squid beaks and other undigested pieces of giant squid have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales . More about the...
Workers prepare to hoist the model of Phoenix, a model of an actual North Atlantic right whale, into position above the exhibit hall floor in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in...
This photograph was snapped as Phoenix swam in the Gulf of Maine in July 2008. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
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...
Researchers have identified five areas of high North Atlantic right whale concentration between Canada and Florida. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story.
Dr. Stefan Huggenberger from the University of Cologne explains sound production in sperm whales in "Moby Dick's Boom Box: Nasal Complex of Sperm Whales," a presentation at the Smithsonian's National...
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...
Hoping to hear bowhead whales , NOAA marine mammal scientist Sue Moore listens to real-time sounds from an underwater hydrophone.
Dr. Maya Yamato and colleague John Ososky dissect the head of a deceased stranded fin whale in the Chesapeake Bay to examine soft tissue associated with the ears. In 2015, Yamato’s team of...
Stretching up to 16.8 meters (55 feet) long and weighing up to 62 tons (70 tons), the North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s largest animals—and one of the most endangered whales...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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.
This ivory sculpture from Point Barrow, Alaska, represents Kikámigo, a guardian spirit, holding a whale in each hand.
Hear how research unfolds at sea in a tiny Zodiac surrounded by creatures that measure longer than a city bus. Playing female whale calls into the water, researcher Susan Parks suddenly finds herself...
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...
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...
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