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Many people love seals and sea lions, and it's easy to see why: they’re playful, adorable, and quite photogenic. But what is the difference between seals and their cousins the sea lions? Both have...
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Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) are the most abundant baleen whale in...
In the late 1990's, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (...
Killer whales ( Orcinus orca ) are master hunters, using speed, camouflage, and...

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Every North Atlantic right whale has a pattern of callosities unique to that individual. This distinctive pattern provides a very visual, convenient tool that researchers can use to tell one individual from another. Learn more...
The false killer whale (pdf) ( Pseudorca crassidens ) is a large dolphin...
Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for...

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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...
North Atlantic right whales migrate seasonally between calving and feeding grounds along the eastern coast of the United States. Most North Atlantic right whales go south for the winter, to the...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
The common bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus ) has lungs, but doesn't breathe through its mouth. Instead, toothed whales breathe through a blowhole on top of their head. Read more about...
The whales that we see in today's world can broadly be split into two groups: those with teeth (odontocetes), and those that have baleen (mysticetes) instead of teeth. These two groups share a common...
“In late November, land-locked polar bears gather along the Hudson Bay to await the formation of Arctic ice so they can return to their seal-hunting grounds for the winter.” -- Nature's Best...
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...
A Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris , swims down a narrow channel into a freshwater spring late in the day.
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 .
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...
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...
The right whale named Phoenix as seen in 2004 off the coast.
I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting under the Blue Whale model hanging in the Natural History Museum in London, eating an ice cream and wondering “How in the world did that whale get so big?”...
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.
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...
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...
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 ocean is home to many moms of all shapes and sizes: from charismatic polar bears and dolphins to small fishes and shrimps and more. Learn about some of the diverse parenting habits of marine moms...
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...
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