Ocean Currents » seal http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:58:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 How to Tell the Difference Between a Seal and a Sea Lion http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/02/24/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-a-seal-and-a-sea-lion/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2017/02/24/how-to-tell-the-difference-between-a-seal-and-a-sea-lion/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:57:56 +0000 Erin Spencer http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=13794

They’re two of the ocean’s most recognizable—and adorable—residents. But can you tell seals and sea lions apart?

Let’s start with the basics. Seals and sea lions are both in the suborder pinnipedia, a group of fin-footed mammals that also includes walruses. All pinnipeds have broad torsos and narrow hips that help them remain streamlined underwater. You can find pinnipeds all over the world, from walruses in the chilly Arctic to Hawaiian monk seals in the balmy Pacific.

But here is where the differences begin to arise. Although the term “seal” can technically apply to the 32 species we refer to as seals and as sea lions, the family Otariidae includes fur seals and sea lions, where family Phicodae includes “true” seals. Yes, it’s confusing.

The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at the ears. True seals have ear holes, where sea lions have small flaps covering their ears.

You can also look at their feet. Seals have short, stubby front feet and generally scoot along land on their bellies. Sea lions, on the other hand, have elongated front flippers that help propel them through the water and allow them to “walk” on land. If you look closely, you’ll also be able to see the different in their claws: seals have long claws and fur on their front flippers, while sea lions’ front flippers have short claws and are covered in skin.

Still having trouble telling them apart? Check out their behavior. Seals are more solitary and spend most of their time alone in the water, only coming ashore to mate. On the flip side, sea lions are a rowdy bunch. They can gather in rambunctious groups called rafts or herds of up to 1,500 animals. And they are loud: where seals make soft grunts, sea lions have sharp barks to communicate.

There you go! The next time you’re faced with an unidentified pinniped, you’ll be able to tell exactly which kind it is.

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Wallpaper Wednesday: Smartphone Wallpapers http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/08/01/wallpaper-wednesday-smartphone-wallpapers/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/08/01/wallpaper-wednesday-smartphone-wallpapers/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 17:57:15 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=2044 Keep the wonders of the ocean at your fingertips with one of this week’s new smartphone wallpapers. Click on one of the images below and save it to your phone or click here for further downloading instructions and other wallpaper selections.

Shells

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Bottlenose Dolphin

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Harp Seal

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Wallpaper Wednesdays: Smartphone Wallpapers http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/25/wallpaper-wednesdays-smartphone-wallpapers/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/25/wallpaper-wednesdays-smartphone-wallpapers/#comments Wed, 25 Jul 2012 20:20:25 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=1951 Time for a new background? We’ve got some great new wallpapers for your smartphone this week! Click on one of the images below and save it to your phone or click here for further downloading instructions and other wallpaper selections.

Moon Jellyfish

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Harbor Seal

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Small Tide Pools

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How to help an injured animal http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/09/how-to-help-an-injured-animal/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/07/09/how-to-help-an-injured-animal/#comments Mon, 09 Jul 2012 20:15:17 +0000 Carmen Yeung http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=1374

Note: After receiving questions from readers, I have written a follow-up post here.

While on vacation, I came across a crab entangled in a fishing net at a local, beachside restaurant.  My time working with crustaceans in science laboratories and in the field gave me the necessary familiarity with their movements and behaviors to handle the animal without hurting it or myself. Armed with this knowledge, I quickly and carefully untangled the piece of fishing net that had wound up tightly on the crab and placed him gently back on the local beach.

Without the proper qualifications, attempting to help a hurt animal in the wild could result in further injury. So what should you do if you encounter an entangled animal at the beach?

In cases of marine crustaceans, I wouldn’t recommend picking up a live crab because it’s still a wild animal and you don’t have to be a biologist to know those pinches hurt. The best way to help them is to reduce the chances of entanglement by keeping trash off the beach. If a crab or other small animal is no longer alive (and it doesn’t gross you out), consider disposing of the garbage entangling the animal to protect larger scavengers (such as seabirds) from suffering a similar fate at mealtime.

If you see a sick, injured, or dead marine mammal or sea turtle, please report the animal by calling a stranding center nearest you. Do not touch or move the animal because you could further injure the animal and also hurt yourself. Keep other people and pets at least 50 feet away from the animal because getting too close could stress the animal. Check out The Marine Mammal Center’s seven steps to help a stranded marine mammal for more information.

Many animal injuries are preventable. Most importantly, you and I have the power to reduce those injuries. As the summer rolls on, remember to properly dispose trash (including fishing lines), admire wildlife from a safe distance and enjoy the water!

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Wallpaper Wednesday – Mother’s Day http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/05/09/wallpaper-wednesday-mothers-day/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/05/09/wallpaper-wednesday-mothers-day/#comments Wed, 09 May 2012 19:44:31 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=448 Mother’s Day is this Sunday. Why not get into the spirit early with one of our Mother’s Day-themed smartphone backgrounds? Grab one below or check out the whole collection.

Kissing Seals

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Fish Underwater

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Seeing Double

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What other critters would you like to see crawling across your phone? Leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to bring them to you next Wallpaper Wednesday.

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Wallpaper Wednesday – Facebook Cover Photos http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/05/02/wallpaper-wednesday-facebook-cover-photos/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/05/02/wallpaper-wednesday-facebook-cover-photos/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 21:44:00 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=318 Show your friends how much you love our ocean with a free Ocean Conservancy cover photo for your Facebook Timeline. Click your favorite image to grab one of our three new ones below, and check out the whole collection here. Leave us a comment and let us know what animals or places you’d like to see next week!

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