Marine Biology - Marine Mammals

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rookery
a breeding beach for some seals and sea lions
elephant seals
the largest pinniped species, the bulls (males) have a unique proboscis that amplified their roar and attracts mates
stellar sea lion
largest otariidae in Alaska, for unknown reasons, they have seen significant declines in the Western half of their range
humpback whale
cetacean known for its large pectoral fins, its mating songs, and bubble netting feeding strategy
blue whale
the largest cetacean, an example of a rorqual
beluga whale
known as the sea canary, flexible neck allows it to swim upside down scanning the undersides of sea ice for fish, commonly seen in Turnagain Arm and Upper Cook Inlet
sperm whale
largest toothed whale, largest brains on earth, deepest diving predators, highly social animals
grey whale
makes the longest migrations of any baleen whales migrating from the Bering Sea to Baja Mexico
bowhead whale
winter in the Bering Sea and migrate north as summer approaches to the Cukchi and Buefort Sea, hunted by Alaska Native peoples
SOFAR channel
zone of minimum sound speed between 500 and 1000 m, some baleen whales take advantage of them to propagate their sounds
sexual dimorphism
Differences in physical characteristics between males and females of the same species. For example, male elephant seals are nearly three times the size of females
spermaceti organ
A semi-liquid organ filled with waxy esters in head of sperm whales that is used for echolocation & buoyancy
breaching
to rise or leap clear of the sea
bubble netting
a stream of bubbles forming a net used to squeeze fish into a tight group, a collaborative strategy used by humpback whales,
pod
a group of cetaceans often family members
dugongs
members of the order sirenia, herbivorous animal, downturned snouts; fluke tail like a dolphin or whale; formerly mistaken for mermaids
time depth recorders
instruments that can be attached to animals, they allow researchers to record diving depth, rate of decent, speed, and a host of environmental variables
odontoceti skulls
concave, with teeth, and room for a melon
mysticeti skulls
convex, baleen hangs down, huge jaws, small passage for the esophagus
walrus
pinniped with large tusks, which they use for digging, lives in the Arctic, family Odobenidae
otariidae
sea lions, fur seals, swim using thier front flippers, capable of walking on their hind finds, external ears are visible
phocidae
earless seals, swim with back flippers in a side to side motion, tend to breed on ice flows, includes harbor seals
orca
largest of the dolphin, a true top predator, feeds on seals, penguins, fish, sea otters, and even other whales
mammalian dive reflex
reflex that optimizes respiration by slowing hr and metabolic rate to decrease the bodys demand for O2 and to allow staying underwater for extended periods of time and is triggered by cold water making contact with face
marine mammal diving adaptations
store O2 in myoglobin and hemoglobin, exhale when diving, blubber or fur for insulation, slowed heart rate, shunt blood away from extemities
baleen
thin plates that hang from upper part of a whales mouth, used for straining out water to get krill and plankton
mysticeti
Cetacean suborder of baleen whales; lack teeth, filter feeders, largest of all mammals, 2 blowhole
odontoceti
suborder of toothed whales, highly social, users of echolocation
the bends
decompression sickness: pressure forces gasses to dissolve into bloodstream, upon return to surface bubbles form in body
melon
oval mass of fatty waxy material in a dolphins head, functions in directing and focusing the sounds used in echolocation