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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...
By Caty Fairclough In centuries past, the ocean was thought to be full of...
Dr. Stefan Huggenberger from the University of Cologne explains sound...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the...

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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 and seagrass beds ,...
This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human...
The polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) is found in the Arctic and classified as...

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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 Ocean Blog

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-...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
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 polar bear ( Ursus maritimus) in Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba, Canada smelling the scent of humans while waiting for sea ice to form on of the Hudson Bay. There are several human...
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...
Striped dolphins ( Stenella coeruleoalba ) observed in emulsified oil on April 29, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, a few days after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It's going to take years to understand...
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 .
Hoping to hear bowhead whales , NOAA marine mammal scientist Sue Moore listens to real-time sounds from an underwater hydrophone.
A still from Where the Whales Sing , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in Atacama Region, Chile, in 2011. The fossils were discovered when the...
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...
In December 2003, researchers spotted Phoenix off the coast of Florida with her second calf. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
Traveling aboard the Charles W. Morgan , a 173-year-old whaling ship on its 38th Voyage, I’m struck by its paradox: this vessel which spent years chasing and killing whales is now helping us to study...
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...
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...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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 Smithsonian has more whale skulls and skeletons than any other collection in the world. This photo provides a small glimpse of the amazing variety of skulls and skeletons available for study...
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