Like hippos, their closest living relatives, whales are descended from an ancestor that had four legs and walked on land, a transition explored in the upcoming exhibition Whales: Giants of the Deep, opening March 23.
This month, a team of international researchers led by the American Museum of Natural History and Stony Brook University determined in unprecedented detail what the earliest ancestor of placental mammals—the widely diverse group of animals ranging from whales to bats to humans—looked like. The Museum is teaming up with WNYC’s Radiolab to sponsor a tournament to name this early ancestor. Want to enter?
Rising nearly 11,000 feet above sea level on the Mediterranean island of Sicily, Mt. Etna is one of the largest, most active volcanoes in the world, producing at least one eruption a year. The volcano's first lava flows of 2013 came this week, on February 19 and 20. Find out how researchers monitor and forecast the location and time of Mt. Etna's activity in this Science Bulletins video.
The word "whale" may bring to mind the image of a blue whale, the largest animal ever to have lived. But did you know that dolphins and porpoises are also specialized whales? Today, there about 80 species of living whales, or cetaceans. Among these marine mammals, there are two groups: baleen and toothed.