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In honor of Mother's Day, the Citizens of the Sea blog salutes ocean-going mothers everywhere. Especially a 60 year-old albatross named Wisdom. She holds the seabird records for both oldest bird and oldest new...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Large whales are notoriously hard to study. Except when rising to breathe, they...
Blog entry MORE STORIES Blog entry MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
Whales swimming in the ocean are never really alone. Even if one swims by...

LATEST CATCH

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...

DIVE DEEPER

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...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking the North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. More about Phoenix can be found in the Tale of a Whale photo essay .
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...
There are more than 500 species of sharks swimming in the world’s ocean. Yet when most people think of these cartilaginous fish, a single image comes to mind: a large, sharp-toothed and scary beast...
A 2010 study of IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species found that one-fifth of the world's vertebrates (animals with backbones) are threatened with extinction, including this Hawaiian monk seal. The...
The rough patches of skin known as callosities occur in unique patterns on all North Atlantic right whales and help researchers identify and track individual whales. This whale is named Phoenix. More...
Smithsonian squid expert Dr. Clyde Roper collaborated with National Geographic to attach this Crittercam to the head of a sperm whale, hoping to get footage of the whale’s favorite prey—giant squid...
Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family of Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to...
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"...
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...
“For the past few years I have visited the island of Dominica to enjoy its beauty both above and below the surface. This photo was taken during a lucky encounter with a member of the ‘group of 7’ pod...
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...
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...
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...
Male northern elephant seals face off on the beach by vocalizing through their extended noses, called proboscises. Every winter, when the seals return to the beach where they were born to breed,...
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...
North Atlantic right whales and ocean-going vessels often cross paths. Researchers have worked to show the interactions between whales and ships in order to protect the whales from collision. More...
A female bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops sp. ) carries a sponge, which it uses as a tool to dig up prey from the seafloor. The only dolphins known to use sponges as tools this way are the female...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) are big, but they're not the biggest whales. That distinction goes to the Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ), the...
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