Now ~4500 species Endothermic (Warm-blooded) Skin has hair Very large brain, very complex Adaptable, can live anywhere there is air to breathe and food to eat General Info
Most are viviparous (give birth to live young) Nurse young with mammary glands Produce few young because it costs a lot to raise them Pinnipeds-seals, sea lions, walruses
Evolved from terrestrial carnivores Have paddle-shaped flippers Rest & breed on land Predatory Streamlined bodies Live in cold water blubber Bristly hair
Seals 19 different seal species B/c of their rear flippers cannot move forward and must use a flopping motion to move on land Do not have ears but can hear
Can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes to dive deep Seals Some were hunted for skin/fur, meat, and oil. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972
has allowed their numbers to bounce back some o Almost hunted to extinction Elephant Seals
Males form harems Males establish dominance by slashing each others thick necks until one tires and give up. The winning male may crush the loser males pups...males can weigh up to 5000 lbs Sea Lions
AKA the eared seals Can run on land b/c they can move rear flippers forward Can move front flipper back to prop themselves up Males have a massive head w/ a hairy mane (this is why they are called sea lions)
Sea Lions 7 different sea lion species Males are called bulls and females are cows Instinctively close their nostrils together when diving in the water Can remain underwater for up to 40 minutes
Walrus Tusks protrude down from mouth Eats bottom invertebrates Sucks up food as it goes along the bottom Whiskers act as feelers
Sea Otter Order Carnivora Smallest marine animal weighing 25-35 kg
No blubber, instead is insulated from fur Playful and intelligent; uses tools Spends most of their time in water Needs about 25% of its body weight in food per day so spends the majority of his/her time looking for food--this is needed to maintain warmth. Sea Otter
Eat abalone, sea urchins, crabs, mussels, and other invertebrates--even fish Live in or around kelp beds and help to keep them free of sea urchins (which eat plants) Sirenians: Manatees & Dugongs
Relatives of the elephant Aka sea cows front flippers only, no hind limbs Lots of blubber Wrinkled skin with a few hairs Gentle & Peaceful Manatees & Dugongs
Often live in groups Vegetarians All are big o
o o big lips for eating seaweed Manatees are about 4.5m and 600 kg Dugongs are about 3m and 420 kg Reproduce slowly All 4 species are endangered Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises
Order Cetacea (called Cetaceans) Result of convergent evolution o
the process whereby organisms not closely related independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments Breathe air (above water) and can drown Warm-blooded, have hair and produce milk Front flippers but no hind limbs Tail ends in flukes (fin-like) Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises
Blubber keeps them warm (very little hair) Nostrils are fused and on top of head to form a blowhole ~90 species Only 5 are freshwater (all dolphins) 2 groups: o o
Toothless-filter feeding Toothed-carnivorous Label your whale
baleen blowhole dorsal fin eye flipper fluke
rostrum teeth throat Toothless Whales
Toothless whales are baleen whales Baleen = rows of flexible, fibrous plates Bristles overlap to form a dense mat on the roof of the mouth Takes mouthfuls of water and squeezes it out through bristles Then licks food left behind and swallows it Toothless Whales
Largest animals to ever live on earth 11 species Overhunting has caused them to almost be extinct (blue, minke, fin, humpback, right, bowhead and gray whales) Some also eat fish Some eat on top of water, others are bottom
Toothed Whales Dont use teeth to chew, just hold onto prey and swallow it whole 3 chambered stomach grinds up food one blowhole (baleen whales have 2) o
Baleen whales are HUGE and must be able to take in more oxygen than toothed whales which are smaller (in comparison) and need less oxygen. Baleen whales are able to stay under much longer bc of this Sperm Whale Eat squid, fish, and lobsters
Undigested material called ambergris accumulates in the gut o o o can be used in perfume to flavor food as an aphrodisiac
This is the whale from Moby Dick Orcas (Killer whales) Actually are the largest of the dolphin family Black and white Eats penguins, seals, large fish, other small
whales Dolphins & Porpoises
Have distinctive snouts (called a beak) Seem to be smiling Playful and social Easily trained (smart!) Travel in pods Dolphins --sharper nose porpoise--blunter nose Echolocation
Echolocation is the ability to produce high frequency clicks and detect echoes that bounce off distant objects. This allows marine mammals to see their surroundings when there is low light Echolocation Marine mammals use sound for:
o o o o o Communication Exploration Locating food Identifying individuals within a pod Maintaining mother-pup interactions
Echolocation-TED talks Migration & Reproduction Pinnipeds (Seals, Sea Lions, Walruses) and Whales/Dolphins migrate huge distances every season to their breeding grounds or birthing grounds. This often coincides with changes in the
availability of food for the adults and young. Migration & Reproduction Humpback whales have the longest migratory route of any marine mammal species, traveling an average of 5100 miles each way from the warm, tropical waters of Central America to polar waters.
Migration & Reproduction Humpbacks only feed in the summer in polar waters building up their fat reserves. They migrate to tropical waters to breed and give birth during the winter (warm waters are easier on the baby). During the entire winter humpbacks dont eat
and just live off of their fat reserves Feeding Techniques Whales & Dolphins, when hunting, will often act like packs of wolves or prides of lions and work together to catch their prey. They have developed a couple of different strategies in order to herd their prey into a
small area or corner their prey o Ex: Bubble nets or mud nets Bubble Nets (Humpback Whale) Mud nets (Dolphin) Cornering their prey (Orcas) Some work solo...
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I encourage you to review the information for this year's meeting, being held October 20-22 at the Omni Corpsu Christi, at the Texas Master Naturalist website, TXMN.org. Proposals for training sessions, which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to full...
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