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After a few long days of hard work on the island, we were finally able to excavate and remove , not just one, but two skeletons of an early "toothed" baleen whale from the...
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Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized...
How long have jellyfish lived in the ocean? This jellyfish fossil is from the...
Like the modern nautilus, this relative of modern squid hunted from inside the...

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Today, filter feeders like clams, sponges, krill, baleen whales, fishes, and many others fill the ocean, spending their days filtering and eating tiny particles from the water. But when did the first filter feeder evolve? The...
For a long time, scientists thought that some small tentacled fossils were...
This early whale was well suited to life at sea. But it also may have spent...

DIVE DEEPER

Whales swim, but their ancestors walked. Whales are mammals (like us) whose ancestors lived on land. Life probably began in...
Today, filter feeders like clams, sponges, krill, baleen whales, fishes, and many others fill the ocean, spending their days filtering and eating tiny particles from the water. But when did the first...
A scientific illustration of the most powerful fish of its time, Carcharodon megalodon , which swam the ocean 30 million years ago. This shark may have reached a size of 20 meters/66 feet. Meet other...
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...
The great predator Hurdia victoria’s prey consisted of trilobites and other smaller animals crawling on the seafloor.
The basic body plans of all modern animals were set during the Cambrian Period, 542 - 488 million years ago. Your friends, family, and pet turtle may not look much like the creatures here. But we and...
This rendering shows life at the end of the Cretaceous Period, before the impact of a 6.2 mi (10 km) asteroid triggered mass extinctions on land and sea. Dinosaurs are the most famous victims of the...
These "elevator" rudists, an ancient bivalve, used one long heavy valve to anchor themselves in the sediment. They used their tentacles (shown here in pink) to filter food from the sea water. And...
This illustration shows the edge of a warm inland sea during the Cretaceous Period, heyday of the dinosaurs. Constantly shifting sediment supported new groups of organisms, including rudist clams—...
What makes a top predator? Razor-sharp teeth? Speed? Strength? Size? Who is the most fearsome hunter? It depends on where and when you look.
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...
The peaceful Archaeocyatha lived during the most recent part of the Cambrian period. They separated into many families and were the Earth’s first reef-building animals.
Lenticulina secans -- this foram lives on the seafloor. This specimen was collected from ocean sediments in southeast Tanzania. It comes from a time over 92 million years ago when both the polar...
The Haplophrentis carinatus had two oar-like appendages (called “helens”) used to stabilize the creature and help it move along the ocean bottom.
About 100 million years ago , during the heyday of the dinosaurs, reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams. Like modern clams, rudists were bivalves , with two shells (or valves) joined at a...
This illustration shows one old idea of what the ancient shark Helicoprion might have looked like. There once was room for many ideas—some more plausible than others—because the only fossils of the...
About 100 million years ago, during the heyday of the dinosaurs , reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams . They looked very different from today's coral reefs . Discover more about the...
Most people have never heard of the Hawaiian petrel , an endangered, crow-sized seabird that spends the majority of its life searching for food over the North Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, this bird...
Editor's note: Read Nick's first blog post about "toothed" baleen whales to see what their team is excavating on Vancouver Island. We departed from Port Renfrew on Tuesday morning on the Michelle...
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