A humpback whale breaches Aug. 6 close to a whale-watching boat off the coast of Long Beach, Calif. Most humpbacks off the Western U.S. remain endangered, but 9 of 13 populations worldwide are considered stable enough to remove the designation, it was announced Sept. 6. Nick Ut/AP hide caption

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African forest elephants stampede in the Central African Republic jungle. Courtesy of Cornell Lab or Ornithology hide caption

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To Decode Elephant Conversation, You Must Feel The Jungle Rumble

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Humpback whales and tanker in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts Bay. Green Fire Productions/Flickr hide caption

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Listening To Whale Migration Reveals A Sea Of Noise Pollution, Too

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Humpback whale and calf, off the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico. Reinhard Dirscherl/Look-foto/Corbis hide caption

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It Took A Musician's Ear To Decode The Complex Song In Whale Calls

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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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