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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 the tough...
In the episode of One Species at a Time , writer Karen Romano Young takes an...
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...

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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 individual from another. Learn more...
The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin...
Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for...

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The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory...
The Wadden Sea site in Germany and the Netherlands was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2009. It’s a large relatively flat coastal wetland environment, with tidal channels, sandy shoals, sea-...
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...
Hoping to hear bowhead whales , NOAA marine mammal scientist Sue Moore listens to real-time sounds from an underwater hydrophone.
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...
Phoenix was photographed swimming off the coast of Canada in the Bay of Fundy in August 2007. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke...
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"...
A Northern right whale swims with her calf
In 1996, at age nine, Phoenix has her first calf (North Atlantic right whale #2605) off the southeast coast of Florida. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs . Currently, only a single species of seacow is found anywhere in the world. However, the fossil record of...
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of krakens, sea serpents, sea monsters and other fantastic creatures. They helped to bring the mysterious ocean into the more...
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...
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.
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...
The bowhead whale has a massive, bow-shaped skull to break through thick Arctic ice, and more blubber than any other whale.
West Indian Manatees, Trichechus manatus , are found in warm, shallow coastal ecosystems along the southeastern North America and northeastern South America. They graze plants in mangrove ecosystems...
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