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The Ocean Blog

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 .
“Moments after its eyes emerged from the water for a ‘spy hop,’ this whale slowly descended in my direction and came as close as six feet before it dove away.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Steffen...
Whales have existed for million of years. Watch this animation, from the Sant Ocean Hall , to see how they evolved from land-dwellers to the animals we know today. Discover more about whale evolution...
An adult giant squid struggles for survival in an encounter with a sperm whale - its only known predator. The whale will probably overpower and eat the squid. More about the giant squid can be found...
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...
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...
Charles Potter (left) and Dr. James Mead of the Smithsonian perform a post-mortem examination on a goose-beaked whale specimen sent to them by colleagues at Portland State University.
Nick Pyenson, the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, points to the skull and skeleton of a fossil "toothed" mysticete ( baleen whale ) on the...
Two North Atlantic right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) swim at the surface of the water. Learn more about this species in the North Atlantic Right Whale section.
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"...
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.
The Baird's beaked whale is a species of toothed whale. Most toothed whales (which also include dolphins, killer whales and porpoises) live in social groups called pods. Read more about toothed...
Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi ,...
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...
This radio device is used to track North Atlantic right whales. Suction cups hold the device to a whale's back, where it records data such as depth, water, temperature, and underwater sounds. These...
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...
Breaching is a behavior seen in some baleen whales, where they launch their entire body out of the water headfirst and land with a large splash.
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...
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