Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marine Life Trivia

Okay so here’s a little Marine Life Trivia for you…

What species…

• Lives to be somewhere between 20 and 30 years old, with the females reaching the upper limit of this range…

• Has an average adult male that can weigh up to 1500 lbs (!) with females averaging 600 lbs…

• Will regularly travel up to 250 miles to find food and as deep as 600 feet…

• Needs to eat at least 6% of its body weight each day in order to survive? Let’s do the math… average male is 1500 lbs. x 6% = 90 lbs. a day!! *

So… we’ll give you a hint… it’s a mammal!

   ** Puzzled?......

Okay, here’s another hint… Our Marine Program Coordinator Chrissy McLean and AmeriCorps Citizen Science Assistant Jamie Landry responded to a stranding of one of these guys last week! So can you guess now???

Okay, Okay, I’ll tell you!!

A Steller Sea Lion!!

PTMSC’s Marine Program Coordinator, Chrissy McLean and Artemis the male Steller Sea Lion

PTMSC's AmeriCorps Citizen Science Assistant Jamie Landry helps document Artemis' stranding

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is part of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network (MMSN) and responds to calls of mammal stranding on a regular basis. Last week, a local citizen reported a dead and beached Steller Sea Lion on Marrowstone Island. After collecting basic information on this endangered species, Chrissy and Jamie collected the head in hopes to get tissue samples and a fully intact skull which the Marine Science Center will use for educational purposes. We have named the male Steller Sea Lion Artemis and are looking forward to having his skull in the Natural History Museum at Fort Worden State Park. It was an exciting call and we want to give special thanks to our volunteers who participate in the MMSN and all locals who place calls to inform us of marine mammal stranding in the East Jefferson County area.

If you find what you believe to be a stranded mammal, please visit our website for more information on what to do and who to call.

* Statistics credit: The Alaska Sea Otter and Steller Sea Lion Commission
** Cartoon Credit: Mark A. Hicks

Until next time,

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