Mammals

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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...
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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...
Illustrator Drew Christie created this light-hearted short film about how...

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

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory...
Male northern elephant seals face off on the beach by vocalizing through their extended noses, called proboscises. Every winter, when the seals return to the beach where they were born to breed,...
Hoping to hear bowhead whales , NOAA marine mammal scientist Sue Moore listens to real-time sounds from an underwater hydrophone.
Dr. Stefan Huggenberger from the University of Cologne explains sound production in sperm whales in "Moby Dick's Boom Box: Nasal Complex of Sperm Whales," a presentation at the Smithsonian's National...
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...
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...
A male sperm whale feeding near the surface. Sperm whales are a toothed whale , rather than a baleen whale , and are found throughout the world's oceans.
A drawing of Phoenix from the Right Whale Catalog documents her callosity pattern and other identifying marks. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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 .
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...
This may look like a mane of hair, but it’s actually baleen from a North Atlantic Right Whale. Although it looks soft and furry, dried baleen is quite stiff, which made it useful for creating...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
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...
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...
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...
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature ( IUCN ) maintains the Red List of Threatened Species , an inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animals. In a 2010 study ,...
The evolution of whales represents one of the great stories in macroevolution. It's a narrative that has mostly benefitted from an extraordinary series of fossils recovered from rocks around the...
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...
For nearly 35 years, National Geographic photojournalist Brian Skerry has been immersing himself in the big blue to get the perfect underwater photograph. He admits that there will never will be a "...
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