Poles

FEATURES

Blog entry
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 whales, feed primarily on...
During the winter and spring months, tagged fur seals migrate thousands of...
Slideshow MORE STORIES Slideshow MORE AUDIO / VIDEO
The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of...
Scientists know the Greenland shark ( Somniosus microcephalus ) moves slowly in...

LATEST POSTS

To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all distinct. In fact, the Inupiaq have...
In the icy waters of the Arctic , a deep-water larvacean (aka “sea tadpole”...
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are...

LEARN MORE

The Ross Sea, a 1.9 million square mile (3.6 million square km) stretch of ocean off the coast of Antarctica, has been...

The Ocean Blog

At the Poles, Life Thrives Located beside the Shores and Shallows gallery (which highlights different kinds of coastal ecosystems around the world), the Poles area will take you to the ends of the...
"Cold-Water Diving: Going to Extremes for Research" is a video produced by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) that shows the focus needed to do scientific work in cold water. The gear is...
Scripps scientist Gerald Kooyman's expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitat in Antarctica. Learn more about life at the poles or check out this emperor penguin...
Recent Antarctic expeditions have documented climate-induced changes to emperor penguin habitats and impacts on how the penguins feed, breed, and raise their young.
Lying on the ice with a few friends is not an unusual way to spend time for walruses, who tend to be sociable animals. Their groups can range from tens to thousands. Each individual herd has a...
Humpback whales ( Megaptera novaengliae ) can be found in Antarctic waters during the spring and summer in the Southern hemisphere, where they gorge on their main food source: tiny krill. How do they...
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...
Arctic cod have a special protein that keeps their blood from freezing in ice-cold Arctic waters.
Standing at twice the height of the Adélie penguins, emperor penguins are the largest of the penguin species and can grow to be 100 pounds. This species breeds directly on the ice: a female lays her...
At a recent staff meeting a Smithsonian colleague mentioned that one of his pastimes this summer has been keeping tabs on the Arctic sea ice. The question that's on many Arctic-watchers' minds is...
Small amphipods, the blue bug-like creatures, can be seen here catching a ride on this enormous sea spider as it makes its way across the bottom. Many Antarctic creatures, like the dinner-plate-sized...
The Boreoatlantic armhook squid ( Gonatus fabricii ) is named for its fabulous (but dangerous) suckers. While most squids have just two rows of suckers lining each arm, armhook squids have four—and...
Ice divers use a quadrat to study the density of creatures living on the underside of Arctic ice floes. A quadrat is a standardized square used to take sample measurements that allow researchers to...
The threat that climate change poses to polar bears has received a lot of attention, but they are not the only Arctic species at risk. Ice-loving seals, such as harp, hooded and ringed seals, are...
In Antarctica's Southern Ocean swims a beautiful polychaete (bristly worm) called Tomopteris carpenteri , which is adorned with alternating red and transparent bands. The largest species in its genus...
New technology is making it possible for scientists to go where they’ve never gone before, the depths of the icy Arctic Ocean . By collecting organisms and mapping the seafloor, researchers can...
Small Adélie penguins live throughout the Antarctic, but are most abundant in the area of the Ross Sea. They lay eggs on the few rocky outcrops of land not covered in ice. Scientists have determined...
To people living in warm climates, all ice looks the same. But if you live day-in and day-out on sea ice, like the Inupiaq people of Alaska, you would find that there are many kinds of ice, all...
Subscribe to Poles