whales whales

A blue whale, the largest animal on the planet, engulfs krill off the coast of California. Silverback Films/BBC/Proceedings of the Royal Society B hide caption

toggle caption
Silverback Films/BBC/Proceedings of the Royal Society B

How The Biggest Animal On Earth Got So Big

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/529505847/529804700" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A mother and calf humpback whale swim in the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. Fredrik Christiansen/Functional Ecology hide caption

toggle caption
Fredrik Christiansen/Functional Ecology

Recordings Reveal That Baby Humpback Whales 'Whisper' To Their Mothers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525609671/525675229" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In a photograph taken Saturday, volunteers prop up a pilot whale at Farewell Spit in New Zealand. Overnight, more than 200 of the stranded whales returned to the sea. Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

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

toggle caption
Nick Ut/AP

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

toggle caption
Courtesy of Cornell Lab or Ornithology

To Decode Elephant Conversation, You Must Feel The Jungle Rumble

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/432616506/432978518" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Green Fire Productions/Flickr

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/429496320/432036108" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Reinhard Dirscherl/Look-foto/Corbis

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/427851306/429911960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Kiki Dethmers/AP

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

toggle caption
Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

Recordings That Made Waves: The Songs That Saved The Whales

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/373303726/373303727" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov

SeaWorld Hopes New Orca Habitats Will Stem A Tide Of Criticism

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/347638921/347738252" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption
Nick Ut/AP

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

toggle caption
Kyodo/Landov