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Our little grunt sculpin is growing up! These funny looking sculpins hop around on their large pectoral fins and take refuge in empty barnacle shells. Their unique face masks them from predators which are tricked into thinking that they are just barnacles.
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A pale beach hopper (Megalorchestia columbiana) rests in seagrass. This amphipod can be found in large numbers or wondering the tide line all alone. They play an important role in breaking down algae and other detritus that washes ashore. There are many different species of marine amphipods which are referred to as "beach hoppers" or "sand flees" some bite, some do not. Lucky for us, this one doesn't bite.
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We have been inundated with good weather lately. Don't worry, we are not complaining😉. If you haven't gotten out to see the sunset lately tonight's the night!
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Look what the tide has brought in...moon jellies! This species of jellyfish ranges from Alaska to California, and is the proverbial “drifter”, as it floats along where ever the ocean’s current takes it. They eat tiny marine life such as plankton and diatoms, which they pick up with the tiny hair like tentacles that lace the outside edge of the jellyfish. Though they sting their prey, us large thick skinned humans can not be harmed by this jelly.
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Frosty morning on the beach...winter is on its way!
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The skies are blue and the surf is big! Be careful on the beaches, this type of surf can generate sneaker waves. What is a sneaker wave? Sneaker waves are sudden, unexpected waves that reach farther onto land than normal waves. They're called sneaker waves because they occur with zero warning. They may surge far onto the beach with deadly force, and are impossible to predict. Sneaker waves also carry large amounts of sand, which can saturate your clothes and weigh you down, making escape from their undertow difficult, if not impossible. There are various ocean conditions which can manufacture sneaker waves. In the Pacific Northwest, we have one of the highest wave-energy levels in the world. This means that our sneaker waves are often produced by offshore storms, which interact with the already high surf. Winter storms can induce sneaker waves that run up the beach 50 yards or more. How to play it safe: *Never turn your back on the ocean. *Visually note how far the ocean has previously come by spotting the divide between wet and dry sand, and then stay on the dry sand. *Do not play on logs or large pieces of driftwood near the tide line!
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Taking a closer look at the eel grass on the beach.... Walking along the shore you may have come across seaweed or some sort of seagrass. Have you ever taken a closer look? If not, you may have missed out. This small tuft of eel grass had hundreds of tiny porcelain crabs clinging to its roots. If returned to the ocean the tide would simply wash them back onto shore, where they would perish. We will use the eel grass for our pipefish to hide in and the crabs will be placed in a protective tank where they can grow. If all goes well, when they are large enough to be released without washing back onto the sandy beach, we will release them.
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While perusing the beach for newly washed up kelp, to feed to our sea urchins, we came across an interesting find, a juvenile Mola mola. Mola molas, more commonly referred to as ocean sunfish, are more prevalent in tropical waters but when winds and ocean currents bring warmer water toward the Oregon coast they venture further north and can be see feeding off of Neahkahnie Mountain. Fully grown,this fish can weight over 2,200 pounds, making it the heaviest bony fish in the ocean. Another interesting fact about this strange looking fish is that females are able to produce 300,000,000 eggs, more than any other known vertebrate. The same currents that bring the Mola molas to Oregon can also bring sea turtles. As we enter into Oregon's sea turtle season (November through February), keep a close eye out for cold-stunned sea turtles. If you do come across a sea turtle on one of our beaches, please call the Seaside Aquarium at 503-738-6211. The quicker we can get them off the beach and into a stable environment the more likely they are able to be rehabbed and released back into the ocean.
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A beautiful King Fisher came to the Seaside Aquarium today. In need of some TLC, it is now on it's way to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast. Good luck little buddy!💕 #wildlifecenterofthenorthcoast #wildlife #kingfisher #seasideaquarium #oregoncoast #pacificnorthwest #seasideoregon
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Join us tomorrow at Pizza Harbor as we celebrate Seaside's Halloween Happenin's. Haunted touch tanks will be set up from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Come on over and learn about the creepy crawlies leaving beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. For more information on this free family event visit; https://www.seasideor.com/event/halloween-happenins-seaside
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An absolutely fabulous day at the Seaside estuary! What are all those holes, you ask? Clams! Not razor clams, but varnish and soft shell clams. Our octopuses will be eating well tonight.
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Some more special visitors showed up yesterday!
Seaside Aquarium
Yesterday morning Seaside had a few extra special visitors, Gray Whales. The three whales were heading south but took some time to feed in the Cove. It was a bit choppy, so it was difficult to see anything but their spouts. Best chances to see these migrating whales is on clear mornings before the wind picks up. We also had an amazing sunset!
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Good morning Seaside!
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Our little rubescent octopus, soon to be on display, was out on the hunt for shore crabs this morning💞. Luckily for her, we have an ample amount of her favorite food on hand. Sorry shore crabs, you serve a higher purpose😚.
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Here is a small video of the shark being transferred into an isolated tank. When we attempt to rescue an animal from the wild it is important for us to isolate them so that if they are sick they do not endanger the health of our other animals. https://youtu.be/mqLtlSgwzsM
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A 3.5 foot juvenile salmon shark stranded itself near Sunset Beach, Oregon this morning. The small shark was still alive and struggling in the surf. Mike Patterson of Astoria, Oregon called the Seaside Aquarium, where his daughter works, to see if they could send somebody up help the shark out. Attempts to return the shark to the ocean by taking the shark back into the surf failed and shark kept returning to shore. Once staff from the Seaside Aquarium arrived, they quickly worked to get the shark into a holding tank to transfer the shark to the Seaside Aquarium. The plan was to get the shark sable, if possible, and then get it to a bigger facility with larger tanks for rehab and possible release. However, sharks that beach themselves rarely survive the ordeal and the shark passed away a few hours after arriving at the Seaside Aquarium. It is not uncommon for juvenile salmon sharks to strand themselves this time of year. Every summer we get a half dozen reports of “baby great white sharks” washing ashore. These small, three foot sharks are actually juvenile salmon sharks, though they do resemble great whites and with only a couple small identification clues (the formation of their teeth and second caudal keel) it can be difficult to distinguish the two. The reason for these juvenile sharks washing ashore this time of year is still a bit of a mystery, and though it has been happening for a number of years, biologist are still trying to figure out why. The Aquarium often tries to collect those which have passed away. We use them for education, allowing people to watch the dissections, while we take tissue samples which are sent off to biologist studying this phenomena.
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Have you heard of hitchhiking amphipods? Or parasitic sea anemones? We found both living on jellyfish we recently collected out of Nehalem Bay.
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This beautiful Northern Fulmar was brought to the Aquarium in need of some extra TLC. We transfer injured wildlife to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast, where they rehab and release these precocious creatures. Thank you to everyone involved in this seabird's rescue! #rehab #wildlife #seabirds #northernfulmar #pacificocean #pacificnorthwest #oregoncoast #seasideaquarium #seasideoregon #wildlifecenterofthenorthcoast
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Carly Hansen and Dale Shipley pointed out that the crabs they are seeing on the beach are not just molts but dead crabs. So we went down to the beach to see what was going on. There were indeed a lot of dead crabs on the beach and the western gulls were having a feast. We recently had a small upwelling. An upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of denser, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface water. This juggling of water from the bottom of the ocean to the surface often lifts debris sitting on the seafloor (like dead crabs, skate egg casings, tube worm casings, ect..)into the water column. As the tide comes in, the debris is cast onto shore. So how do you tell if the crab is dead or just a molt? Break open one of it's legs, if there is meat inside it is a dead crab if not then it is just a molt.
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Another clubhook squid washed ashore, but this time it was in Neskowin. Debi Tribe and her daughter Cami Hildum (photographed next to the squid) came across the squid a few days ago. When they saw the article in the Oregonian about the squid in Cannon Beach they called us to see if we would be interested in examining this one. We were! The squid had been on the beach for a few days but we were still able to take measurements, it was a little smaller than the Cannon Beach squid with a total length of 9 feet. The mantle measured 3.8 feet and the tentacle length was 5.2 feet. The beak was already gone but we took a few tissue samples which will be sent to Alaska where they will be used to further study the diet of sperm whales. A huge thank you to Debi and Cami for the excellent photographs, for letting us know about the squid, and for leading us to the squid once we arrived in Neskowin.
Seaside Aquarium
Babies! Our pipefish are having babies. As a relative of seahorses, female pipefish pass their eggs to the male who carries them in a specialized pouch until they hatch. Congrats new dads! #babies #pacificocean #oregoncoast #seasideaquarium #pipefish #seaside #newborn #newlife #adorable
Seaside Aquarium
So many different species of birds on the beach today. Some are residential and here all year long others are migratory visitors. We saw quite a few bald eagles, a lot of turkey vultures, a beautiful blue heron, Caspian terns, and many more. Time for birding on the beach.
Seaside Aquarium
Have you heard of a rubescens octopus? This small, softball size octopus, resides along the Oregon coast and is often mistaken for a baby giant Pacific octopus. Commonly known as the Pacific Red Octopus, these can be found from the intertidal zone down to depths of 500 feet. Unlike the Giant Pacific Octopus, the Red Octopus only reaches a full size of six to eight inches in length. These are actually the most common octopus on the West Coast, but are infrequently seen due to their sleeping habits (they are nocturnal), their small size, and their ability to camouflage and effectively hide themselves among such objects as rocks, sand, mud, and even the old glass bottles which litter the sea floor.
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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.