Climate change at the poles

Well, I have been seriously neglecting my project to blog through the entire Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, so it’s time to revisit the “C” section, which brings us to climate change. The concept of climate change has become so political that it’s easy to ignore sometimes. But based on all the numbers I’ve seen something… [read more]

Sea lions, weasels and bears oh my!

Classifying animals is a messy business. Back in the day before genetic analysis, seals, sea lions and walruses were classified as members of the order Pinnipedia. They were considered to be “separate from but closely related to the terrestrial carnivores of the order Carnivora” as told by the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals. And of course… [read more]

Classifying marine mammals, clades shmades

As of the writing of this post, there are four clades of marine mammals. Things could change if some crazy fossil is found that alters all current knowledge, but for now we only have to know about four clades. Now is a good time to explain what a clade is. According to the fabulous glossary… [read more]

Oceans movie is worth seeing

I don’t dare post the actual Oceans poster image for fear of being sued by Disney, but I have to say the movie is definitely worth seeing on the big screen. There is amazing underwater footage of sea creatures you will most likely never have the chance to see and of course many great shots… [read more]

Bones: water living changes bones

Here I thought that reading the section on bones in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals would bore me to tears. And well let’s just be honest, some of it was definitely sleep inducing. Until I came to the part about “two very different trends in bone architecture and histology.” OK, stay with me now, I… [read more]

Baculum: the penis bone

Walrus baculum, 22 inches long The “B” section of the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals launches with an article by Edward Miller on the baculum. The baculum is a bone located in the penis of several species. For marine mammals this includes polar bears, sea otters, seals, sea lions and walruses. Bacula (plural of baculum) come… [read more]

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]