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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...
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting...
Whales swimming in the ocean are never really alone. Even if one swims by...

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Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The dogs find about four times more...
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow...

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The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory...

The Ocean Blog

Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix, one of the last North Atlantic right whales living today. It's estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these whales alive today. Read her story...
“In late November, land-locked polar bears gather along the Hudson Bay to await the formation of Arctic ice so they can return to their seal-hunting grounds for the winter.” -- Nature's Best...
A fossil vertebra that a Smithsonian researcher's mother found while prospecting in the Gatun Formation. It's not just any vertebra, it belongs to a fossil sea cow! According to Jorge Valez-Juarbe, a...
A life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix hangs in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. More about...
This is North Atlantic right whale #3333 who was spotted with fishing gear trailing from his mouth during an aerial survey off the coast of Georgia on January 29, 2008. Entanglement is one of the...
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...
In the late 1990's, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) invented the D-Tag —a radio device that can be attached by suction cups to a whale's back. Using a tiny underwater...
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but scientists estimate that fewer than 450 remain. In the past, they were hunted for their oil and baleen; now they get tangled...
“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...
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...
"Wild manatees in Belize are not used to humans. Living miles offshore in mangroves, they remain shy and elusive. After weeks searching and waiting for an opportunity to photograph them, I was...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar. Read more in a blog post from one of the researchers.
A manatee swimming in shallow waters. The West Indian manatee is listed on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable. More about mangroves can be found in our Mangroves featured story .
On a beach in Piña, Panama the tide is rolling out. Faint outlines of skeletal remains rise above the sand. Smithsonian scientists Nicholas Pyenson and Aaron O'Dea along with a team of students...
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...
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...
A crew works on creating a life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix—the “ambassador” of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural...
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.
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