Albino Marine Mammals: the ghosts of the sea

According to the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, albinos have been spotted in 28 species of marine mammals. This number breaks down to 21 cetaceans and seven pinnipeds with albinos among their ranks. Albinos are most well known for their white or very pale coloring and pink eyes or at least that’s what I thought. But according… [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]

Abundance Estimations for Marine Mammals: nailing the numbers

After reading about abundance estimation, I have a new found respect for the population estimates of marine mammals… the all important numbers that tell us how certain species are doing and whether they are recovering or declining. These seemingly plain numbers fail to convey the detailed back story involved for each total. Counting animals who… [read more]

Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals: Blogging from A to Z

There it is sitting on my desk, all 1,316 pages…the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. Now this is no ordinary book, this book explains everything you ever wanted to know about marine mammals and then some. With more than 250 expert scientists and researchers contributing, it is a treasure trove of information. And for marine mammal obsessed people… [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]