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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...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix indicates the location of scars on her tail from entanglements with fishing gear. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a...
A team from the Center for Coastal Studies works to free a one-year-old right whale from the fishing ropes wrapped and knotted around its body and flippers. The whale is Kingfisher, #3346 in the...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
Polar bears have evolved to survive in the Arctic with large, oar-like front paws for better swimming, as well as insulating blubber, and two layers of fur for the frigid temperatures. They rely on...
This sea lion has been caught in killed in a giant drift net, or a “curtain of death,” as photographer Tom Woodward calls them. These giant drift nets, placed around the world’s oceans to catch...
“I took this photograph of spinner dolphins in calm waters off the Ogasawara Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles south of Tokyo.When the sun briefly broke through the clouds...
Whale baleen, the stiff bristly mouthparts that sieve small prey from the water, was strong yet flexible, and was used to provide structure in many human products, including umbrellas, corsets, and...
A North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) swims in the Bering Sea.
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...
The Surtsey site in Iceland was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. Surtsey is a new island, formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. The site is unique, because it's...
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...
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...
Polar bear siblings in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area near Hudson Bay spar playfully during migration.
Nick Pyenson, the curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, points to the skull and skeleton of a fossil "toothed" mysticete ( baleen whale ) on the...
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...
A model marker applies paint to the life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix which today is on exhibit in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National...
The Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve site in Russia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004. Located well above the Arctic Circle, the site includes the mountainous Wrangel Island,...
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