A blue whale is seen in Timor waters in an undated photo. The marine mammal buttresses Cope's rule, the notion that over the course of evolution, most animals tend to get bigger. Kiki Dethmers/AP hide caption

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By the 1960s, humpback whales and other whale species had been hunted extensively, sometimes to the point of near extinction. Then a recording of humpback whale songs helped shift public opinion on the hunting of all whale species. Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Recordings That Made Waves: The Songs That Saved The Whales

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Visitors watch an orca performance at SeaWorld in San Diego this year. The company has seen attendance slip in the year since the release of a documentary film critical of the company's captive whale program. Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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SeaWorld Hopes New Orca Habitats Will Stem A Tide Of Criticism

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Off the coast of Southern California, a crowd watches a blue whale rise to the surface earlier this summer. A new study says the population of blue whales off the West Coast is close to historic levels. Nick Ut/AP hide caption

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The Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru leaves Shimonoseki port in Yamaguchi Prefecture, southwestern Japan, last month. Japan's prime minister says he wants to expand whaling operations after they were temporarily scaled back. Kyodo/Landov hide caption

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A minke whale photographed in Antarctica last year. The minke, smallest of the baleen whales, turned out to be the mysterious "bio-duck." Tony Beck/Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

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Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Antarctic 'Quack'

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Packs of whale meat are seen in a specialty store in Tokyo last week. An international court ruled Monday that Japan must stop issuing permits to hunt whales in the Antarctic. Shizuo Kambayashi/AP hide caption

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The fossilized remains of a whale that washed up on a shore in what's now Chile more than 5 million years ago. Vince Rossi/Smithsonian Institution hide caption

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Those are two whales coming up from the water, just feet away from two divers off the coast of central California. The image is from a video, which has gone viral, taken on Saturday. YouTube.com hide caption

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A Sandhill Crane flies in at sunset to roost for the night in the wetlands of the Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge in Colorado. Migrating along the same route they've followed for thousands of years, about 25,000 Greater Sandhill Cranes pass through the San Luis Valley in late winter every year. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images hide caption

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