Updated on July 25, 2016
Co-authored by Carl Safina
New York City may be home to more than 8.4 million people, but here also resides quite a bit of wildlife. On a recent summer afternoon in the Big Apple, I spotted hoards of colorful songbirds and dozens of squirrels in street-side trees; several red-tailed hawks in the skies; and a pair of enormous, duckweed-encrusted snapping turtles in a Central Park pond.
Yet, had I looked off toward the sea, there’s a chance I could have seen some other pretty cool creatures: whales. At least seven species have been living off New York’s coastlines for centuries: blue, humback, fin, sei, minke, and sperm whales; as well as the now critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Yet scientists know little about these whales of New York.