Mammals

FEATURES

Blog entry
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 world, including challenging field...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the...
I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting under the Blue Whale model hanging...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis...

LATEST POSTS

To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all distinct. In fact, the Inupiaq have...
The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga...
A close up view of Phoenix and the rough patches of skin known as...

LEARN MORE

The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic...

The Ocean Blog

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.
A Northern right whale swims with her calf
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, are...
A harp seal ( Phoca groenlandica ) pup rests on the ice at sunset in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada while its mother hunts. Adult harp seals have dappled gray fur, but the babies are born white and...
A Grey Seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) poses in the waters off Acadia National Park in Maine. Grey seals live on both coasts of the Northern Atlantic, with breeding colonies in Great Britain, Ireland,...
The common bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) has lungs, but doesn't breathe through its mouth. Instead, toothed whales breathe through a blowhole on top of their head. Read more about...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
Scientists document a direct relationship between the extent of sea ice and polar bear survival. Future projected reductions in the extent of annual sea-ice due to global warming may result in the...
I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting under the Blue Whale model hanging in the Natural History Museum in London, eating an ice cream and wondering “How in the world did that whale get so big?”...
Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) swimming within a fresh water spring on Crystal River in Florida. Note the tree roots on the right of the frame which make up a portion of this...
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 .
Marine mammals around the world face many challenges due to interactions with people, from overfishing and entanglement to vessel strikes and disturbance from human sounds. Dr. Brandon Southall...
Harp seals are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act . Although they are not considered endangered, as sea ice melting earlier and earlier each year, available harp seal...
Illustrator Drew Christie created this light-hearted short film about how humans could really learn something from whales. Check it out and learn about all the different cetaceans and our...
Whales swimming in the ocean are never really alone. Even if one swims by itself with no other whales for miles around, it still has company—the tiny microbes that live on its skin. For a long time,...
Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke...
The crabeater seal ( Lobodon carcinophaga ) is found on the ice of Antarctica, but surprisingly they don't eat crabs! The seals primarily eat krill, tiny crustaceans that play a large part in the...
For being so big, right whales eat very small food, which they catch using baleen. Baleen is the series of fringed plates hanging in right whales' mouths that are used to strain seawater for food...
Subscribe to Mammals