14 posts tagged marine mammal

28th July 2013
This small, adorable cetacean is known as the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) and is critically endangered. Also known as the Gulf of California porpoise, it inhabits shallow waters at the northern end of the Gulf of California. Though it can be found in groups of as many as seven, it is typically a solitary animal that feeds on fish, squid, and other animals on the sea bed. Threatening this species are fishing nets, pollution, boat noises, and oil exploration.
(Photo source)

This small, adorable cetacean is known as the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) and is critically endangered. Also known as the Gulf of California porpoise, it inhabits shallow waters at the northern end of the Gulf of California. Though it can be found in groups of as many as seven, it is typically a solitary animal that feeds on fish, squid, and other animals on the sea bed. Threatening this species are fishing nets, pollution, boat noises, and oil exploration.

(Photo source)

24th January 2013

On January 11th, off the coast of Hawaii, a dolphin who got into some trouble approached divers for help. The dolphin, whose pectoral fin was pierced by a fishing hook and whose body was entangled in fishing line, let out a cry and swam up to one of the divers, nudging him gently. The diver, Keller Laros, said it was obvious that the animal was looking for help. He was able to cut the fishing line and remove the hook from the animal’s fin, but when more divers approached the dolphin to help untangle it, it swam off and didn’t return.

(Information and video source)

7th January 2013
The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. This extremely rare species is very susceptible to human influences, such as tourism, so it usually hides away in caves. The collapsing of these caves, along with pollution, overfishing, and infection are the greatest threat to this species, which is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.
(Photo source)

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. This extremely rare species is very susceptible to human influences, such as tourism, so it usually hides away in caves. The collapsing of these caves, along with pollution, overfishing, and infection are the greatest threat to this species, which is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.

(Photo source)

6th January 2013
The New Zealand sea lion, also known as Hooker’s sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri), may look absolutely adorable, but they are intense hunters. They feed on fish, crabs, penguins, and even seal pups. Their habitat is restricted to a few islands just south of New Zealand, but they forage for food up to 150 km from shore during the daytime before returning at night to rest.
(Photo source)

The New Zealand sea lion, also known as Hooker’s sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri), may look absolutely adorable, but they are intense hunters. They feed on fish, crabs, penguins, and even seal pups. Their habitat is restricted to a few islands just south of New Zealand, but they forage for food up to 150 km from shore during the daytime before returning at night to rest.

(Photo source)

10th August 2012
Fun fact: I do not like marine mammals. I don’t like most mammals in general, to be honest (neglecting the fact that I love all animals—except for dolphins); however, I think that the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a wonderful creature and has a strikingly beautiful scientific name that means “big-winged New Englander.”
Among the most acrobatic of whales, humpbacks appear to breach to stun fish schools or to communicate information to other herd members.
Photo © Laurent Ballesta

Fun fact: I do not like marine mammals. I don’t like most mammals in general, to be honest (neglecting the fact that I love all animals—except for dolphins); however, I think that the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a wonderful creature and has a strikingly beautiful scientific name that means “big-winged New Englander.”

Among the most acrobatic of whales, humpbacks appear to breach to stun fish schools or to communicate information to other herd members.

Photo © Laurent Ballesta

20th June 2012
The Ribbon Seal (Histriophoca fasciata) is one of nine species of ice seals inhabiting the Arctic. What sets them apart is that they are physiologically and anatomically adapted to make deeper dives and swim faster than other seals. Also making them unique, ribbon seals run across ice by alternating their foreflippers and swinging their hindquarters as opposed to using the caterpillar-like movement used by most other seals. Ribbon seal pups are born all white, but after one year they begin to develop the signature dark body with light bands.

The Ribbon Seal (Histriophoca fasciata) is one of nine species of ice seals inhabiting the Arctic. What sets them apart is that they are physiologically and anatomically adapted to make deeper dives and swim faster than other seals. Also making them unique, ribbon seals run across ice by alternating their foreflippers and swinging their hindquarters as opposed to using the caterpillar-like movement used by most other seals. Ribbon seal pups are born all white, but after one year they begin to develop the signature dark body with light bands.

12th April 2012
MANATEESOrder Sirenia
• Found in coastal areas protected from wind/storms• Vegetarians• Need warm water (> 68° F)• Harmless and slow• Killed frequently by boat strikes• Range: extinct in most of range, found in US in Louisiana - Virginia• Size: 13 ft, 3500 lbs• Lifespan: 50 - 60 years• Birth rate: 1 calf every 2 - 3 years per female• Population = Endangered

MANATEES
Order Sirenia

• Found in coastal areas protected from wind/storms
• Vegetarians
• Need warm water (> 68° F)
• Harmless and slow
• Killed frequently by boat strikes
• Range: extinct in most of range, found in US in Louisiana - Virginia
• Size: 13 ft, 3500 lbs
• Lifespan: 50 - 60 years
• Birth rate: 1 calf every 2 - 3 years per female
• Population = Endangered

11th April 2012
POLAR BEARSOrder CarnivoraFamily Ursidae
• 11 ft tall on hind legs• Fur    - Two layers    - Matches color of snow/ice    - Black skin to absorb sunlight    - Buoyant• Streamlines for swimming, webbing between toes, blubber• Threatened due to chemical pollution    - Greenhouse gasses and PCBs• Range: Arctic coastlines & iceflows• Size: 8 ft long, 11 ft tall, 1600 lbs (females much smaller)• Lifespan: 20 years• Birth rate: 1 - 2 pups per year per female• Population = Threatened

POLAR BEARS
Order Carnivora
Family Ursidae

• 11 ft tall on hind legs
• Fur
    - Two layers
    - Matches color of snow/ice
    - Black skin to absorb sunlight
    - Buoyant
• Streamlines for swimming, webbing between toes, blubber
• Threatened due to chemical pollution
    - Greenhouse gasses and PCBs
• Range: Arctic coastlines & iceflows
• Size: 8 ft long, 11 ft tall, 1600 lbs (females much smaller)
• Lifespan: 20 years
• Birth rate: 1 - 2 pups per year per female
• Population = Threatened

11th April 2012
SEA OTTERSOrder CarnivoraFamily Mustelidae (weasel family)
• Smallest marine mammal• Thick fur, 2 layers    - Traps layer of air    - No blubber• Anchor themselves by wrapping in kelp• Use tools to break open shells• Threatened species    - hunted, oil spills, killer whales• Size: 60 - 90 lbs• Lifespan: 10 - 20 years• Birth rate: 1 pup per year per female

SEA OTTERS
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae (weasel family)

• Smallest marine mammal
• Thick fur, 2 layers
    - Traps layer of air
    - No blubber
• Anchor themselves by wrapping in kelp
• Use tools to break open shells
• Threatened species
    - hunted, oil spills, killer whales
• Size: 60 - 90 lbs
• Lifespan: 10 - 20 years
• Birth rate: 1 pup per year per female

11th April 2012
Eared SEALS(fur seals and sea lions)Order CarnivoraSuperfamily PinnipediaFamily Otariidae 
• External ear flaps• Move hind flippers to walk• Swims with front flippers• Sexual Dimorphism (males are bigger than females)• Intelligent, playful• Opportunistic eaters• Great ability to steal fish (which, unfortunately, means they’re often shot at)• Size: 6 - 7 ft, 850 lbs• Lifespan: 15 - 25 years• Birth rate: 1 pup per year per female

Eared SEALS
(fur seals and sea lions)
Order Carnivora
Superfamily Pinnipedia
Family Otariidae 

• External ear flaps
• Move hind flippers to walk
• Swims with front flippers
• Sexual Dimorphism (males are bigger than females)
• Intelligent, playful
• Opportunistic eaters
• Great ability to steal fish (which, unfortunately, means they’re often shot at)
• Size: 6 - 7 ft, 850 lbs
• Lifespan: 15 - 25 years
• Birth rate: 1 pup per year per female

10th April 2012
Earless SEALSOrder CarnivoraSuperfamily PinnipediaFamily Phocidae
• Ear holes (no external ear flaps)• Cannot rotate hind flippers forward to walk (so they galumph)• Swim with hind flippers• Little sexual dimorphism• Near-shore coastal waters• Can dive to 1500 ft for 40 minutes• Hunted for skin, meat, blubber• Communicate via grunting and fin slapping• Size: 5 - 6 ft, 300 lbs• Lifespan: 25 - 30 years• Birth rate: 1 pup per year per female
(Pictured is a Leopard Seal)

Earless SEALS
Order Carnivora
Superfamily Pinnipedia
Family Phocidae

• Ear holes (no external ear flaps)
• Cannot rotate hind flippers forward to walk (so they galumph)
• Swim with hind flippers
• Little sexual dimorphism
• Near-shore coastal waters
• Can dive to 1500 ft for 40 minutes
• Hunted for skin, meat, blubber
• Communicate via grunting and fin slapping
• Size: 5 - 6 ft, 300 lbs
• Lifespan: 25 - 30 years
• Birth rate: 1 pup per year per female

(Pictured is a Leopard Seal)

10th April 2012
WALRUSESOrder CarnivoraSuperfamily PinnipediaFamily Odobenidae 
- No external ears- Can rotate hind flippers to walk- Sexual Dimorphism (males are bigger than females)- Inflatable air sacs in neck- Found in arctic- Tusks used for digging, fighting, hauling onto icebergs (found in both sexes)- Size: 14 feet, 2000 lbs- Lifespan: 16 - 30 years- Birth Rate: 1 calf every 2 - 3 years 

WALRUSES
Order Carnivora
Superfamily Pinnipedia
Family Odobenidae 

- No external ears
- Can rotate hind flippers to walk
- Sexual Dimorphism (males are bigger than females)
- Inflatable air sacs in neck
- Found in arctic
- Tusks used for digging, fighting, hauling onto icebergs (found in both sexes)
- Size: 14 feet, 2000 lbs
- Lifespan: 16 - 30 years
- Birth Rate: 1 calf every 2 - 3 years 


I am Ashley, an incredibly introverted 21-year-old environmental enthusiast.
I'm studying to be a marine biologist, but I live near the Great Lakes rather than the ocean.
I have a fierce love for all living things, a very broad sense of humor, and I'm probably too passionate for my own good.
Herein you'll find animals (especially creepy-crawlies), nature, science, art, some of my own photography, and probably more things about my personal life than you would care to know.
I'm an avid reader and music-listener, so suggestions are always welcome (you can check out my last.fm if you're interested).
I source all of my own posts unless it's my content, in which case I tag it "personal."
But that tag is littered with a bunch of other things as well, so peruse with caution.

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