Whales

A female dolphin cald swims about her mother at the Madrid Zoo and Aquarium in 2018.

Female Dolphins Have a Fully Functional Clitoris

A new study finds surprising similarities between human and cetacean sexual anatomy

A restoration of the extinct whale Phiomicetus, named by paleontologists earlier this year, preying upon a sawfish.

Whales Once Walked Along the Coasts of North America

Increasing fossil finds are helping researchers understand how such early whales made their way to the continent

A humpback whale and her calf swim underwater. A recent study in Nature found whales eat and poop way more than previously thought—and that feces plays an important role in fertilizing the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2021

From the discovery of a large bioluminescent shark to the use of an innovative drone to study hurricanes, these are the best marine stories of the year

Four different audio recorders placed in different regions of the north-western Arctic collected eight years' worth of acoustic data, providing a sneak peek into the lives of cetaceans.

As Arctic Sea Ice Retreats, Orcas Are on the Move, Spurring Changes in the Food Chain

Acoustic recordings reveal the marine behemoths are moving into once icy areas, which causes competition for resources with other species

A humpback whale feeds on sand lance in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

Some Whales Can Eat Upwards of 16 Tons of Tiny Shrimp a Day

The giant mammals consume enormous quantities of marine organisms, three times more than previously thought, then their poop fertilizes the sea

Researchers are hoping to decipher the communications of sperm whales.

Could We Chat With Whales?

An ambitious project is attempting to interpret sperm whale clicks with artificial intelligence, then talk back to them

Melting sea ice because of climate change forces walruses to congregate on land instead of ice.

Researchers Need Volunteer 'Walrus Detectives' to Help Count the Animals in Satellite Images

The project aims to quantify the impact of climate change on the species

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Ode to an Orca

A photographer takes the plunge into forbidding waters off Norway for an extraordinary encounter with orcas

After a year of strict Covid-19 lockdowns which brought a severe economic standstill, Panama is awaiting the return of visitors and the restart of the tourism industry.

For Panama's Fall Whale-Watching Season, Scientists Offer Tips for Safeguarding These Magnificent Creatures of the Deep

For humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins and coastal manatees, tourism is a mixed bag, making vigilance ever more important

Killer whales are among the oceans’ top predators. But in Iceland, pilot whales have them running scared.

Why Do Pilot Whales Chase Killer Whales Near Iceland?

Scientists are working to understand the strange inter-cetacean conflict

A Brief, Fascinating History of Ambergris

The odd, enduring appeal of a scarce commodity few people use and no one really needs

Though considered a whale, Phiomicetus anubis had legs with webbed feet to pursue prey on both land and sea with its powerful jaws and sharp teeth 43 million years ago.

New Research

'God of Death' Whale Was Scourge of Land and Sea 43 Million Years Ago

The prehistoric mammal possessed a powerful jaw and likely had a raptor-like feeding style

There are many reasons to be worried about the state of the world’s oceans. But some scientists say it’s important to point to successes, in order to motivate people to take further, evidence-based action.

Seven Reasons to Be Optimistic About the World's Oceans

The health of the ocean is under threat, but these good-news stories deserve attention too

An adult male transient or Bigg's killer whale.

Stranded Killer Whale Survives With the Help of Humans

The whale was spotted stuck among the rocks of an island in Southeast Alaska, but after about six hours on dry land the whale was able to swim off

A pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) crosses the Indian Ocean and passes near Mirissa, Sri Lanka.

Using Nuclear Bomb Detectors, Scientists Overhear the Secret Songs of a Never-Before-Seen Pygmy Blue Whale Population

The new group is named 'Chagos' after the islands close to where the melodies were detected

New genetic research suggests that the gray whale spotted off the coast of Namibia in 2013 originated in the western Pacific.

New Research

Gray Whale Breaks Migration Record With 16,700-Mile Journey

The whale, which is usually found in the northern Pacific Ocean, was spotted off Namibia in 2013

Sometime between 30-40 seconds after the diver was swallowed, the whale began to move its head from side to side and then resurfaced.

A Cape Cod Lobster Diver Was Swallowed by a Humpback Whale—and Then Spat Back Out

Except for severe bruising and a dislocated knee, the survivor is in good health and ready to return to work, he says

Tinier whales threaten the species’ survival because smaller whales do not have as many offspring.  Nursing mothers who entangle themselves in nets also produce smaller calves.

Humans, We've Shrunk the Whales

North Atlantic right whales born today are three feet shorter on average than whales born in 1980—and commercial fishing could be to blame

A new analysis dates the wax bust's creation to the 19th century—some 300 years after Leonardo's death in 1519.

New Research

Whale Wax Helps Scholars Solve Mystery of Supposed Leonardo da Vinci Sculpture

Radiocarbon dating places the bust's creation centuries after the Renaissance artist's death in 1519

As many as 70 orcas cooperatively hunted, killed and ate a roughly 50-foot long blue whale last month off the coast of Australia.

More Than 50 Orcas Hunt and Kill Blue Whale Off Australian Coast

This is one of just a handful of times that orcas have ever been recorded killing a blue whale

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