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When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to the seafloor, where it provides food for a deep sea ecosystem on the otherwise mostly barren seafloor. There are several...
I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting under the Blue Whale model hanging...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis...
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for...

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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 distinct. In fact, the Inupiaq have...
The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga...
A close up view of Phoenix and the rough patches of skin known as...

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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

The fringed baleen plates are easy to observe as this North Atlantic right whale skims the water’s surface while it feeds. Many baleen whales suck in as much water was possible, and then push it out...
A North Atlantic right whale with a deep wound caused by entanglement in fishing gear floats at the surface in the Bay of Fundy on August 1, 1999. Crew members on the International Fund for Animal...
A 2010 study of IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species found that one-fifth of the world's vertebrates (animals with backbones) are threatened with extinction, including this Hawaiian monk seal. The...
Phoenix swims in George’s Bank, off the coast of New England, on March 13, 2009. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
The ocean sustains land animals besides humans. Here, a fox looks for a meal at low tide on the Arctic Peninsula. When the tide goes out, it leaves behind tidepools full of tasty snacks for foxes and...
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...
How do we know where ocean animals swim day and night? Scientists are getting snapshots into the daily lives of whales , sharks , and even fish by tagging the animals to track their movements. You’ve...
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...
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...
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.
Bottlenose dolphins ( Tursiops truncatus ) are very social animals, and often travel and hunt in groups called pods. The most common is a nursery group of 5-20 dolphins made up of females and their...
"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...
The rough patches of skin known as callosities occur in unique patterns on all North Atlantic right whales and help researchers identify and track individual whales. This whale is named Phoenix. More...
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 prey in...
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the FLIP platform. Learn more about how scientists are using bioacoustics to study and protect whales .
Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family of Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to...
A North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) swims in the Bering Sea.
Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy (#1004), was killed in a collision with a ship near Virginia in February 2004. She was pregnant with her sixth known calf. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a...
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