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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...
How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis...
The Encyclopedia of Life and Atlantic Public Media bring us another installment...
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Many animals depend on their eyes to navigate, find food, locate mates, and for...

LATEST CATCH

The largest of all seal species, the southern elephant seal ( Mirounga leonina ) is found in chilly Antarctic and Subantarctic waters. The male seals dive as deep as 1,430 meters (over 4,600 feet) and stay at depth for up to two...
"A juvenile California sea lion performing close to the camera. The speed...
A close up view of Phoenix and the rough patches of skin known as...

DIVE DEEPER

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...
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...
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...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
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,...
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...
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but scientists estimate that fewer than 450 remain. In the past, they were hunted for their oil and baleen; now they get tangled...
Both humans and sea lions get sick from eating fish and shellfish that have been feeding on harmful toxic algae. Studying the sick sea lions brings scientists closer to understanding and preventing...
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...
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...
At the ends of the Earth, life thrives despite extreme conditions. In the Arctic and Southern Oceans, organisms have evolved adaptations to cope with year-round cold and six months of darkness. But...
Researchers from the SOCAL-10 research partnership study the behavior of orcas (commonly called killer whales) and how they react to sonar and other noisy human activities. The partnership is...
Smithsonian squid expert Dr. Clyde Roper collaborated with National Geographic to attach this Crittercam to the head of a sperm whale, hoping to get footage of the whale’s favorite prey—giant squid...
Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) have something in common with humans: early menopause. Read Smithsonian marine scientist Nancy Knowlton's blog post to find out more.
Three distinct types of killer whale, or orcas, can be found in the Antarctic, each with a different habitat and diet preference. One type of orca preys almost exclusively on the Antarctic minke...
Monk seals -- the only completely tropical species of seal in the world -- are in trouble. Centuries of human exploitation and habitat destruction have caused the remaining populations of...
A life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix hangs in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. More about...
Two North Atlantic right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) swim at the surface of the water. Learn more about this species in the North Atlantic Right Whale section.
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