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Posts Tagged "seals"

Extinction Countdown

The 4 Most Endangered Seal Species

saimaa seal

I have a summer tradition. Every year, as close to the first day of summer as possible, I hop onto one of the many whale-watching tours that depart from Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and spend an afternoon on the ocean. On a good day we can end up seeing a dozen or so whales. On a [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Citizen Scientists, Funding Needed to Help Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Project

hawaiian monk seal

Endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) have a bad reputation among some local fishermen, who accuse the 200-kilogram mammals of eating the fish that the humans catch for their livelihoods. A new project aims to find out if that notoriety is deserved and the public—in particular, teens—has a chance to participate. The National Marine Fisheries [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Algal Neurotoxins Found in Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals

Hawaiian monk seal

More than 30 years after 50 critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) died of suspected algal toxic poisoning, the presence of ciguatoxins in living seals has finally been confirmed through a new, noninvasive test. Ciguatoxins are produced by dinoflagellates, which live near coral and seaweed. The dinoflagellates are eaten by small fish, which are [...]

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Extinction Countdown

More polar bear news than you can shake a rapidly melting icicle at

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) got a long-awaited boost on November 23 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finally designated more than 485,000 square kilometers of “critical habitat” for the species, which is listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The critical habitat was first proposed in October 2009, and a ruling [...]

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Extinction Countdown

E.U. orders Finland to protect critically endangered seals

Finland’s Lake Saimaa is home to one of the world’s rarest seals, the Saimaa ringed seal (Pusa hispida saimensis). Just 260 or so of these critically endangered animals remain in the freshwater lake, and now the European Union has told Finland that the country is not doing enough to protect the species. “We cannot allow [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Four seal species in danger of slipping away

As Canada kicks off its controversial seal hunting season this week, several species of seals around the world face uncertain futures. In Finland, the Saimaa ringed seal (Pusa hispida saimensis), one of the world’s few freshwater seals, is likely to become extinct in a few years, according to the Finnish natural resources agency, Metsähallitus. Its [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Seals, the early years

stem-pinniped-slide-1-600-px-tiny-June-2014-Tetrapod-Zoology

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… stem-pinnipeds at Tet Zoo. Or, probable stem-pinnipeds anyway. This minimum-effort post is brought to you on the back of work showing that pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) are monophyletic, not diphyletic, and that the taxa shown here – Potamotherium, Puijila and so on – really are [...]

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