Just in time for four weekends of fun during our Marine Mammal Mania event, here are some fascinating details about the life cycle of the most ubiquitous (and, dare we say, most charming?) marine mammal in Puget Sound: the harbor seal! Plus tidbits about the Seattle Aquarium’s own Barney, Hogan and Q.
Last Saturday, April 13, Sharon Melin, wildlife biologist at NOAA’s National Marine Mammal laboratory, came to the Aquarium and shared her experience with wild northern fur seals. Working with biologist Julie Carpenter and our male northern fur seal Commander, she demonstrated how satellite tags are placed on adult fur seals to track their ranges (see photo).
Here at the Seattle Aquarium we have four sea otters: Adaa, a 13-year-old male found on an airport runway; Lootas, a 15-year-old female found orphaned in Alaska and rehabilitated back to health here; Aniak, a 10-year-old female born here to Lootas; and Sekiu, our 1-year-old female born to Aniak and Adaa.
Many adult marine mammals gain and lose weight throughout the year depending on the water temperature, food availability and behavioral changes associated with breeding seasons. Here at the Seattle Aquarium we weigh our marine mammals at least twice a month in order to monitor their health.