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Whales: From the Depths of the National Geographic Collection

Photo: A sperm whale dives near New Zealand.
A sperm whale dives near New Zealand.

Photograph by Flip Nicklin

Photo: A pair of narwhals

A pair of narwhals rubbing their tusks on one another.

Photograph by Paul Nicklen

From a pod of melon-headed whales gliding through tropical waters to the narwhals in the Arctic, “Whales” gathers the best sea mammal photography from National Geographic’s extensive archives.

These extraordinary creatures moved from land to the sea about 50 million years ago and have evolved to exploit the ocean environment developing streamlined bodies, leading complex social lives, and communicating with each other in ways that we are just beginning to understand.

Some species have traditionally been killed for their blubber, oil, and ivory. Extensive commercial hunting in the 19th and 20th centuries contributed to large-scale population declines. Today’s threats include ocean noise, pollution, and accidental drowning in commercial fishing operations. Although the International Whaling Commission issued a worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986, many whale populations are still at all-time lows. Scientists are working to understand these creatures and design appropriate conservation models.

32 framed prints, labels, text panels on Evolution, Whale Facts and the Noisy Ocean
Size for both exhibits: 350 running feet minimum—flexible
Duration: 3 months minimum
Rental Fee: $10,000 (includes round trip shipping anywhere in the continental US)
$8,000 + shipping to Canada and International

Tour Schedule:

Museum of the Earth
Ithaca, NY
January 23, 2012—June 4, 2012

COSI
Columbus, OH
September 29, 2012—January 5, 2014

  • Photo: A Whalrus flicks its huge tusks
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