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In the episode of One Species at a Time , writer Karen Romano Young takes an icebreaker to Barrow, Alaska, to join in the festival of Naluqatak and learn about the intimate relationship between...
A Twelve-Step group for wild animals with people-food addictions? Don’t be...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis...

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This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and often distressed) whale,...
The polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) is found in the Arctic and classified as...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) can be found in Antarctic waters...

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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

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...
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical...
Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) are master hunters, using speed, camouflage, and a variety of techniques to capture their prey. See how a different predator - the great white shark - finds its prey in...
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...
This illustration shows how fishing lines attached to traps and buoys on the ocean floor present a potentially deadly hazard to North Atlantic right whales. Freeing entangled whales involves a...
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...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with year-round cold and six months of darkness. But...
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...
Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for walruses, who tend to be sociable animals. Their groups can range from tens to thousands. Each individual herd has a...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear . But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and...
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...
The dolphins in this picture are spinner dolphins, ( Stenella longirostris ) named for how they spin in the air when they leap from the water. Spinner dolphins have four sub-species: the eastern...
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,...
The ocean sustains land animals besides humans. Here, a fox looks for a meal at low tide on the Arctic Peninsula. When the tide goes out, it leaves behind tidepools full of tasty snacks for foxes and...
Beluga whales are naturally vocal animals. They are often called “ canaries of the sea ” thanks to their wide repertoire of sounds such as whistles, squeals, moos, chirps, and clicks. Some...
Arctic scientists study a range of marine animals – from large species like polar bears to the microscopic, like phytoplankton. The amount of phytoplankton at different depths can tell us about the...
“At night, spotted dolphins move offshore into the Gulf Stream’s deep waters in search of squid.” -- Nature's Best photographer, Andrew Sallmon. See more beautiful ocean photos in our slideshow of...
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...
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