Mammals

From whales and dolphins to seals and sea otters. Marine mammals are defined by their reliance on the ocean for food, along with mammalian characteristics such as hair and mammary glands. 

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Sirenians , or seacows, are a group of marine mammals that include manatees and dugongs. In the modern ocean, only one species of seacow is found in each world region, however, the fossil record...
John Hildebrand discusses his research at the Scripps Whale Acoustic Lab on the...
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Many people love seals and sea lions, and it's easy to see why: they’re playful...
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Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in...

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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 calves—although occasionally...
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but...
When a whale dies, the story has just begun. The massive carcass sinks to...

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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 critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal ( Monachus schauinslandi ) is one of hundreds of marine species that can be found cruising the waters of Papahānaumokuākea, a chain of islands northwest...
Walruses use sea ice as platforms on which to nurse their young and launch their dives for clams and other bottom-dwellers. Each spring, walruses move northward to stay close to these perches as ice...
Suspended at the center of the Sant Ocean Hall is a life-size model of a North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. The result of four years of work, and collaboration between exhibit fabricators,...
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...
During the winter and spring months, tagged fur seals migrate thousands of miles in open water. Scientists are watching this species closely in order to determine the mystery of its population...
Ari Friedlaender, a research scientist at the Duke University Marine Lab, tags a blue whale.
Illustrator Drew Christie created this light-hearted short film about how humans could really learn something from whales. Check it out and learn about all the different cetaceans and our...
Yankee Whalers: An 1856 Currier & Ives print shows whalers harpooning a right whale. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a Whale photo essay .
New England Aquarium researchers Dr. Moira Brown and Yan Guilbault conducting aerial surveys for North Atlantic right whales over the Roseway Basin, Canada. More about right whales can be found in...
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...
A Grey Seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) poses in the waters off Acadia National Park in Maine. Grey seals live on both coasts of the Northern Atlantic, with breeding colonies in Great Britain, Ireland,...
Weddell seals grind their teeth on holes in the ice to keep them open to their comings and goings between ocean and air. Their dives can last over an hour when they are looking for an opening in the...
Fargo, the dog pictured here, is not just having a relaxing day at sea. He is helping researchers at the New England Aquarium in Boston detect scat (or poop) from North Atlantic right whales . The...
Florida Manatee ( Trichechus manatus latirostris ) swimming within a fresh water spring on Crystal River in Florida. Note the tree roots on the right of the frame which make up a portion of this...
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...
Polar bear siblings in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area near Hudson Bay spar playfully during migration.
Rachel Caauwe was one of a dozen artists who spent a recent Saturday sketching specimens from the Smithsonian's musky-scented marine mammal collection . Here she's shown drawing the remains of a...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in the nearshore waters around the Antarctic Peninsula. They, along with millions of penguins, seals, seabirds, and other...
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