March 29, 2017

Stinky Sea Lions

We went to Scripps Park in La Jolla in hopes of getting a glimpse of sea lions or seals. As we walked the path along the coast it hit us... the smell. We knew at that moment we were close.  There were sea lions everywhere basking in the sun. They were incredible (and stinky, but we could look past that). 

First off, we aren't familiar with seals and sea lions so we weren't really sure which we were looking at. We later found out that there are lots of differences between the two. Sea lions have external ears, flippers that help them walk and give off a barking sound. Seals have shorter webbed flippers and they move around on their bellies and are only capable of low grunts. Interesting, right? 

One thing we also noticed about these sea lions was that some of them had what looked like scars or markings on their backs. We found out that the markings are part of the Farrell Number System. It's a modified angle number system that helps to identify the sea lions. It tells researchers and caregivers who's-who for medical and feeding purposes. It also means that at one point that were cared for likely due to losing their mother too soon. The mamas go out to sea in search of food and the pup (or the mama) get lost. A lot of the baby sea lions (or pups) are found malnourished and weak and need to be saved and brought back to health. Mama sea lions often nurse their pups for 6 months to a year. 

Well, that's that. Your school lesson for today. CHECK. Hopefully some of you learned something new. I just think it's interesting and something I never ever thought about while living in the burbs of Virginia or even Florida for that matter. 

I think they bonded.

The last few shots are of the flora/fauna we found while at Scripps Park. Beautiful!
The sea lions were really just amazing. I would definitely love to see more of them on our adventure! Next time, a nose plug might be in order. 

Disclaimer: I can only hope all of this info is accurate. I don't pretend to be an expert, that's for sure!

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