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Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs. In the modern ocean, only one species of seacow is found in each world region, however, the fossil record...
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the...
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Many people love seals and sea lions, and it's easy to see why: they’re playful...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in...

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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

Every North Atlantic right whale has a pattern of callosities unique to that individual. This distinctive pattern provides a very visual, convenient tool that researchers can use to tell one...
Monk seals -- the only completely tropical species of seal in the world -- are in trouble. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused the remaining populations of...
A view of the injured fluke belonging to Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy. It is not known what caused this injury. It possibly could have been an entanglement. More about whales can be found in our Tale of...
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
A giant squid engages in a struggle for survival with a sperm whale. Giant squid beaks and other undigested pieces of giant squid have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales . More about the...
Monodontids, the group of whales that includes the belugas and narwhals swimming our ocean today, are emblematic symbols of the Arctic. However, their fossil record, although scarce, suggests that...
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...
Dugongs , along with manatees , make up a group of marine mammals called sirenians or seacows . In the modern world, only one species of seacow is found in any one place in the world. However, the...
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.
A Galapagos sea lion ( Zalophus wollebaeki ) rests on a beach in Ecuador. The population of these charming animals swings wildly during El Niño events, but is declining overall. They are currently...
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?”...
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...
Polar bear siblings in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area near Hudson Bay spar playfully during migration.
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...
“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...
Phoenix, the North Atlantic right whale whose replica hangs from the ceiling of the Sant Ocean Hall at the National Museum of Natural History, was sighted with a calf off of Amelia Island in Florida...
Phoenix rises out of the waters east of Cape Cod, MA, in April 2003. The rough patches of skin (known as callosities) occur in unique patterns on all North Atlantic right whales and help researchers...
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 .
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