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In the episode of One Species at a Time , writer Karen Romano Young takes an icebreaker to Barrow, Alaska, to join in the festival of Naluqatak and learn about the intimate relationship between...
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...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis...

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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 other terrestrial predators...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena...

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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...
Researchers frequently track North Atlantic right whales from ships or from the air. This video of Phoenix (left) was captured in March 2009 on George’s Shoal, east of Chatham, Mass. Learn more about...
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...
This photograph was snapped as Phoenix swam in the Gulf of Maine in July 2008. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
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...
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...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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...
Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for other important activities. But marine mammals often rely on sound—sometimes far more than sight—for such critical...
"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...
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...
The small vaquita ( Phocoena sinus ), a type of porpoise, usually only reaches lengths of 5 feet (1.5 meters). They are only found in the Northern part of the Gulf of California off the coast of...
The bowhead whale has a massive, bow-shaped skull to break through thick Arctic ice, and more blubber than any other whale.
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 .
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...
An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix that was used to develop a life size model for the Smithsonian shows the location of scars on her mouth from entanglements with fishing gear...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) are big, but they're not the biggest whales. That distinction goes to the Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ), the...
California is known for it’s lovely beaches, good food, and sloping hills. But take a dive into the colder waters, and discover a new type of wonder: the California kelp forest. The kelp forests are...
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