Arctic Marine Mammals

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a post about all the fabulous marine mammals hanging out near the North Pole? The Arctic hosts a variety of marine mammals including eight species of pinnipeds (several seals, walruses), three cetaceans (bowhead, beluga and narwhal whales) and one fissiped (polar bears). (For me, fissiped is… [read more]

Antarctic Marine Mammals

After a journey with the Antarctic fur seal, the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals features Antarctic marine mammals in general. These robust marine mammals live within the Antarctic convergence, an invisible natural border where the extremely cold Southern Ocean meets warmer water from the north. Most marine mammals who live further north do not cross this… [read more]

Antarctic Fur Seals

Antarctic fur seals or Acrtocephalus gazella hang out in intense cold around islands in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans near Antarctica. Simlar to other pinnipeds, Antarctic fur seals possess an intense sexual dimorphism in size between males and females. According to the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, males are 1.5 times longer and weigh four… [read more]

Aggressive Behavior in Marine Mammals: can’t we all just get along

Reading the article on aggressive behavior in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals is a serious downer. Don’t get me wrong, most of the information is standard wild animal behavior, which the author, Claudio Campagna, nicely summarizes in the introduction. “Aggressive or agonistic behaviors represent a conglomerate of social responses, including male disputes over territorial boundaries, female fights to protect… [read more]

California Sea Lions: size doesn’t always matter

Imagine the challenges of dating someone four times your size, especially during the intimate times. This is the reality of a female California sea lion. Well-known residents of the South Bay, California sea lions, officially named Zalophus californianus, are frequently seen swimming near shore, chasing fish or lounging on buoys. But what goes on behind… [read more]