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The Ocean Blog

This magnified photo provides a close-up look at copepods—tiny crustaceans that right whales feed on. There are many species of copepods that live throughout the water column, from floating at the...
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...
Beluga whales are naturally vocal animals. They are often called “ canaries of the sea ” thanks to their wide repertoire of sounds such as whistles, squeals, moos, chirps, and clicks. Some...
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...
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 world’s largest animals—and one of the most endangered whales...
Workers prepare to hoist the model of Phoenix, a model of an actual North Atlantic right whale, into position above the exhibit hall floor in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in...
Often it's the tiniest organisms that do the most harm. One example is microscopic algae, which can grow rapidly to form harmful algal blooms . Such blooms (some are called "red tides") create...
Marine mammals around the world face many challenges due to interactions with people, from overfishing and entanglement to vessel strikes and disturbance from human sounds. Dr. Brandon Southall...
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...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
Whales swim, but their ancestors walked. Whales are mammals (like us) whose ancestors lived on land. Life probably began in the ocean and then evolved to colonize the land. Yet the whale’s ancestors...
“For the past few years I have visited the island of Dominica to enjoy its beauty both above and below the surface. This photo was taken during a lucky encounter with a member of the ‘group of 7’ pod...
Toothed whales, like this common dolphin ( Delphinus delphis ) and its calf, live in social groups called pods. The mother and calf form a pair that shares a long-term bond. Read more about toothed...
Phoenix is seen skim feeding off the coast of Maine in August 2004. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking the North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. More about Phoenix can be found in the Tale of a Whale photo essay .
A close up view of Phoenix and the rough patches of skin known as callosities that are found on all North Atlantic right whales . These callosities are inhabited by small amphipods called whale lice...
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 .
Vertebrates evolved in the sea and eventually moved onto land. The ancestors of whales later returned to the sea, taking advantage of its rich food supplies. As early whales adapted to their new...
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