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Whale baleen, the stiff bristly mouthparts that sieve small prey from the water, was strong yet flexible, and was used to provide structure in many human products, including umbrellas, corsets, and whips. Right whales...
2012 marked the 70th anniversary of a series of World War II battles in the...
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning...
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as...

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In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing, such as tight corsets, used by...
To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live...
Whalers hunted right whales for their blubber, which could be turned into...

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The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were...

The Ocean Blog

CREDIT: David Clark Observations of the New World In between pillaging and plundering, Dampier spent every spare moment exploring the natural environment and meticulously documenting everything in...
Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another...
This over 2,000-year-old shipwreck in Mazotas, Cyprus, was discovered in 2007. The ship was loaded with wine from Chios, one of the most expensive and sought-after Greek wines in antiquity. The...
Pirates divide up the riches they plundered. Most pirates abided by their own codes of conduct, and life aboard pirate ships was more democratic than that on naval ships of the time. Watch a slide...
Fish spears and fish weirs—fish traps placed in rivers—are traditional ways of catching salmon on rivers. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story .
A fisherman in Papua New Guinea shows his catch for a ceremonial feast. Communities there are successfully managing their local reefs by observing temporary fishing closures that end in time to...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologist, William Fitzhugh, has been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Québec, Canada . The site and the artifacts recovered...
This portrait of William Dampier hangs in London’s National Gallery in recognition of his contribution to natural history. Learn more about Dampier, the pirate naturalist .
This 1874 photo of a squid draped over a bathtub was the first ever taken of a giant squid. It belonged to the Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland. More about the giant squid can be found in the...
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