Tag Archives | aquarium

Olive ridley sea turtle hatchlings on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Photo by Sukee Bennett.

How does one turtle’s tale promote ocean conservation?

I watched nearly 2,000 baby olive ridley sea turtles hatch while working on a sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica. Most of them were born in our human-made hatchery from wild eggs we had relocated— each hatchling crawled and tumbled upon dozens of siblings in a sheltered plot, eager to be free. Others were…

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Battle of the bags at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Meet Makana, the only captive Laysan albatross in North America. An ambassador for her species, she takes the stage at the Monterey Bay Aquarium everyday at 1:30 sharp, helping guests understand how human-made plastics—single-use bags, straws, water bottles—can end up in sea birds’ stomachs. One of the props in her show is a 12-inch tube…

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The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts goes for a test drive in Monterey Bay. Source: MBARI (http://www.mbari.org/news/homepage/2009/rov-ricketts.html)

Hurray for the Engineers!

 The otters our class saw on our field trip to Monterey Bay were awfully cute.  But I have to admit there was a piece of my former engineer’s heart that was touched, not by the furry faces, but by the antennas, radio transmitters, temperature and depth recorders, and GPS computers the scientists showed us. The sensors were…

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Four fun facts about sea otters

1.     Sea otters have the densest hair of any mammal – around 900,000 hairs per square inch (140,000 hairs/cm2)[1]. That’s more than 500X denser than the hair on the human scalp, which averages at 1600 hairs per square inch (250 hairs/cm2).[2] 2     Sea otters have individual preferences for prey. Some sea otters prefer to crunch…

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Stalking Otters: How Some Scientists Get Their Data

When I hear that otters spend X percent of their time feeding (or some other behavior), how do scientists know that? Surely they don’t follow otters around to see what they do all day… As it turns out, that’s exactly what researchers do. So how do you follow a marine mammal around? What are the…

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Shellfish-snacking otter sounds

During our class field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we learned about the aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program (SORAC). I loved spending time with the researchers watching wild otters hang out in the kelp forest in the bay. But what I was really eager to see was the conservation program.  I wrote…

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