Blue Whales - Sri Lanka April 2012
The Evolutionary Shaping of Modern Whales
A survey of more than 200 whale skulls has unveiled bursts of evolution over the past 50 million years.
The Evolutionary Shaping of Modern Whales
The Evolutionary Shaping of Modern Whales

A survey of more than 200 whale skulls has unveiled bursts of evolution over the past 50 million years.

A survey of more than 200 whale skulls has unveiled bursts of evolution over the past 50 million years.

cetaceans
A dolphin comes out of the water to catch a red ball.<br><br>
Dolphins May Remember Personal Experiences
Alejandra Manjarrez | Jul 29, 2022
Bottlenose dolphins can recall trivial details of a prior event to later solve a novel task, a study finds, suggesting these mammals are capable of episodic memory.
Balaenoptera physalus, fin whale, seismology, acoustic, earthquake, recordings, ocean
Whale Song Echoes Help Scientists Map the Ocean Floor
Asher Jones | Feb 12, 2021
By analyzing how fin whale calls bounce off the seafloor, scientists can recreate ocean crust layers.
beluga narwhal hybrid cetacean narluga naluga skull DNA genetic analysis
Image of the Day: Hybrid Cetacean
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 21, 2019
The DNA of a whale shows its father was a beluga and its mother was a narwhal.
Researchers Track Sharks and Whales Using DNA in Seawater Samples
Jef Akst | Jan 1, 2019
In addition to detecting unseen organisms in the ocean, studies of environmental DNA can shed light on the genetic structure of marine populations.
How One Wild Dolphin’s Trick Became a Fad
Ashley Yeager | Dec 1, 2018
After release from rehab, bottlenose Billie started walking on water with her tail. Studying how the behavior spread could offer clues about how animals learn from each other.
How Live Capture Changed Scientific Views of Killer Whales
Jason Colby | Jul 1, 2018
Although highly controversial now, keeping orcas in captivity helped transform popular and scientific conceptions of the marine mammal from an unfeeling killer to a complex, intelligent animal.
black and white photo of person onshore looking at orca in the water
Book Excerpt from Orca
Jason Colby | Jun 30, 2018
In Chapter 15, author Jason Colby describes a scene of captive orca release and early research into the species' behavior and social organization
Image of the Day: Right Whale or Left Whale?
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Dec 11, 2017
Scientists examine lateralized behaviors in blue whales.
Extinct River Dolphin Species Discovered
Alison F. Takemura | Aug 16, 2016
Overlooked for half a century, a skull in the Smithsonian collection points to a dolphin species that lived 25 million years ago, according to a study.
Biologist Who Communicated With Dolphins Dies
Alison F. Takemura | Aug 15, 2016
Louis Herman, who made seminal discoveries on dolphin cognition, has passed away at age 86.
Study: Ship Noise Disturbs Humpback Whales’ Meals
Alison F. Takemura | Aug 11, 2016
Researchers report the first evidence that nearby vessels may impair the cetaceans’ foraging abilities.
Long-Distance Calls
The Scientist Staff | Jun 30, 2016
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researcher Peter Tyack expresses the beauty of marine mammal communication.
The Whale That Quacked
Kerry Grens | Apr 23, 2014
An oceanic quacking sound—unidentified for 50 years—turns out to be minke whales.
Genome Digest
Abby Olena | Jan 7, 2014
What researchers are learning as they sequence, map, and decode species’ genomes
Behavior Brief
Kate Yandell | Feb 6, 2013
A round-up of recent discoveries in behavior research
Nari's Shark Bite
Jef Akst | Dec 1, 2011
In February 2009, a bottlenose dolphin named Nari swam up to the Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort on Moreton Island off Australia’s Queensland. 
Cetacean Cures
Jef Akst | Dec 1, 2011
Dolphins heal amazingly quickly from shark bites, with no swelling, infection, and seemingly little pain, but how do they do it?
Citizen Science Goes Marine
Jef Akst | Nov 30, 2011
A new public science project asks people at home to match whale songs in hopes of better understanding their language.