After today's troubling incident with the whale (see below) you might wonder what the hell is going on with the mysterious wiring in this batch of sea creatures, but fear not: the Vancouver Aquarium is just releasing these rehabilitated harbour seals back into the wild with some helpful satellite-linked transmitters on their heads.
Newly weaned harbor seal pups attempting to climb onto a surfboard with a camera attached: Seal Pup Slip n' Slide [slyt | adorable ]
Marineland is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Niagara Falls. It features the world's largest habitat for viewing orcas, houses a world record 41 beluga whales in their exhibits, and offers a variety of daily shows featuring bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions and walruses. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star published the results of an extensive investigation, alleging "a pattern of neglect that has repeatedly resulted in animal suffering." Video. Slideshow. Demonstration protests are scheduled for Saturday. Marineland denies mistreatment.
And when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour
National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen (previously) relates the harrowing tale of a sweet, insistent, and ferocious lunchmate (note - clip begins with a dramatic drumbeat, mind your speakers) [more inside]
Paul Nicklen grew up in the Arctic, and his photography is amazing...A short, narrated presentation on the National Geographic site.
40's-50's-Fun-Filter: glglglgl-prt-HIC! What soothing melodies do I hear? honk!honk!honk! Is it geese mating? Ibidi? Ibiduh. Ibidih? eauugh! No, it's Spike Jones and his City Slickers! [more inside]
And here I am kicking my own legs like a sucker. From DEKA Research the folks that made the Segway and DARPA the little defense department that could (bomb you) comes Power Swim which uses an oscillating foil to develop vortices that...uh, it makes you go faster in the water. Some pictures, here. [more inside]
The Skeleton Coast, so called for the whale skeletons that littered its shores when the whaling industry was at its peak, is now well known for the skeletons of shipwrecks. More. And a a bit of description here. Still, the coast is full of life. Each year hundreds of thousands of Fur Seals come ashore. (Video on this site of baby Fur Seal vs. a jackal.) (wp)
Nature's Sumo Wrestlers. Hundreds of thousands of northern elephant seals once inhabited the Pacific Ocean. They were slaughtered wholesale in the 1800s for the oil that could be rendered from their blubber. By 1892, only 50 to 100 individuals were left. Today estimates are that about 150,000 roam the Pacific Ocean. And they are extraordinary animals - the males can average 1,800 kg and 5 meters in length. Mirounga angustirostris spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles, twice a year, to its land based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting and rest. Once on the beach, they survive up to 3-4 months with almost no food or water. You can spy on them at through the live cam at Ano Nuevo State Reserve from 9am to 9pm (EST) though at this point, it’s mostly only the pups that are still on the beach as most of the adults have headed back to sea. Also, they do not like to be woken up.
Canada's seal hunt started yesterday and though I wondered if the numbers on the Protect Seals site were accurate, this somewhat gory and disturbing slideshow at Yahoo/AP news seems to support the high numbers of slaughter. There doesn't seem to be much you can do to stop seal clubbing in 2005, just boycotting Canadian seafood and calling congressfolks. Shame to see up to 300k seals killed for some fur coats -- seems so last century.
The Sushi Seal Family are simultaneously sushi and seals. Actually, judging by the sample movie and the episode guide, it seems more like "Barbapapa" meets Zen koans. But it's big in Japan, apparently. (Via Geegaw.)
Looking for that perfect family getaway? Norway has a killer vacation package for the discriminating tourist that helps correct an "imbalance in the ecological system." Ice pick sold separately.