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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

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Nice and sunny this morning in Seaside!
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The ocean is full of functional beauty! Check out this sea cucumber's feeding structure... Most sea cucumber's diets consist of plankton and other organic matter filtered from either the surrounding seawater or sand. The aggregating sea cucumber, pictured below, is filtering plankton out of the water using its branch-like tentacles. Once the tentacles are laden with plankton, the sea cucumber will retract them and lick them clean.
Seaside Aquarium
People have been asking about strange fibers washing ashore. The strange hair-like fibers are actually casings, produced by the Cellophane Worm (Spichaetopterus costarum). They often wash ashore in masses during the spring and summer months, but recently we have been seeing them in the winter as well. Living just below the low tide line of sandy beaches, Cellophane Worms build and inhabit these seemingly plastic "tubes”, which become encrusted with sand. Currents and upwellings bring these tubes to the surface, eventually distributing them onto shore.
Seaside Aquarium
Someone is enjoying this wind! These amazing birds are one of the world’s most widespread shorebird. Most sanderlings spend their winter in Southern California and South America, but as many as 1,000 winter here, on Clatsop beaches. They can be seen along local beaches from August to February, but abandon Oregon in May through early July to breed in the Arctic.
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Who knew baby nutria could be so cute! Introduced to Oregon in the 1930's, they were originally farmed and raised for their fur. When the industry collapsed in the late 1940's thousands of nutria were set loose. These guys were brought to the Aquarium and then trasported to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast!
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Up close with a red-eyed medusa... Named for the band of red "eyes"bordering its bell, the Red-eyed Medusa can be found in shallow bays where eelgrass is plentiful. The red spots at the base of each tentacle are actually not eyes, but function as a kind of light shade or "eyelid”. Beneath the "eyelid"is an eyespot (or receptor) that detects whether or not light is being received. Using this system, the jelly can both orient itself vertically in the water and select the best light conditions for feeding. These jellies are often found in local waters.
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Crab Boats Light Up the Horizon as the Commercial Crabbing Season Gets Under Way.... Dungeness crab have been landed commercially on the west coast of the United States since 1848 when San Francisco fisherman began the fishery. The current foundation for regulation in the fishery, size, sex, and season was established 100 years ago! Crabbers of the early 1900’s were limited to 6 inch and larger male crabs with a closed season in the fall. Flash forward to present day and West Coast Dungeness crab landings are stronger than anytime in history with regulations nearly identical to those in place in 1905. Since the fishery was established, Oregon has consistently been one of the largest producers of Dungeness crab on the West Coast.
Seaside Aquarium
We have been getting calls from locals who are noticing sea lions engaging in an interesting behavior and are wondering what is going on. Sea lions have been seen congregating together, in mass on the surface of the ocean, just outside of the surf zone. When sea lions do not want to haul out of the water, they use this tactic to sleep and rest. The protection of the group provides safety. We are probably seeing more of this due to the cold air temperatures. The ocean temperature is much warmer than the outside temperature at the moment, so the sea lions are probably just trying to stay warm like the rest of us!
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Snow and crab what a great way to start the day! Be safe out there!
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Looking for something warm, educational, and free to do tomorrow night? Should be a great talk!
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A little dusting of snow on top of the Head this morning. Time to get some hot chocolate and snuggle up with the seals!
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Our baby urchin is all grown up. This urchin came to us a year ago. It was found on a holdfast and was smaller than a pencil eraser. It is now larger than a quarter!
Seaside Aquarium
A big thank you to everyone who reigned your dogs and gave this guy the space and time to rest.
Seaside Aquarium
Velellas have been spotted! Velellas have a 'sail' they use to catch the wind. When the wind blows out of the right direction it's great! The green energy provided by the wind, allows the Velellas to cruise around the world. The wind, however, can turn against the Velellas. Locally, when the wind blows out of the west and the Velellas are close to shore the wind blows them onto our beaches. Winter Velellas are much smaller than the ones that wash ashore in the spring and summer. Some are so small they hardly standout from a grain of sand!
Seaside Aquarium
Look who has found a home! We found this guy living in/on one our Morning Sunstars. It is a Red-Banded Commensal Scaleworm (Arctonoe vittata). Commensal scale worms can be found living in/on sea stars, limpets, snails, sea cucumbers, and even other worms. They feed on food left over by their host and help protect their host from predators by biting them.
Seaside Aquarium
A little cold and tired (perhaps he had a little too much fun last night) he is on his way to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast. Hopefully the rest of his year will go better. Thank you to everyone at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast for everything you do to help these precious sea birds.
Seaside Aquarium
2017 is starting off sunny! Happy New Year!
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The Seaside Aquarium will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas. We will open back up at 9:00 a.m. on the 26th. Happy Holidays!!
Seaside Aquarium
These strange creatures just keep showing up...check out this article to learn a bit more about them! http://www.beachconnection.net/news/glowcr120216_401.php
Seaside Aquarium
Another whale washes ashore and goes missing… A Gray whale calf washed ashore yesterday in Gearhart. The whale was a male, approximately 10 feet in length, and because of the time of year and size we believe the animal was most likely still born. Gray whales are currently migrating passed the Oregon Coast on their way to their breeding grounds in Mexico. The whale had been heavily scavenged upon by sharks before washing ashore. We scheduled the calf’s necropsy for this afternoon, but when we showed up we discovered that the whale had disappeared off of the beach. And like the Humpback that washed ashore at Falcon Cove in September and then washed back out the next day leaving only kidney behind, the only evidence that this calf had been on Gearhart beach was a small isolated pile of intestines. Meanwhile, the skull of the Humpback remains on the north end of Short Sands in Oswald West State Park.
Seaside Aquarium
The moon setting over the estuary this morning.
Seaside Aquarium
It's a bit chilly this morning, bundle up!
Seaside Aquarium
A year ago today this beautiful gull showed up in front of the Aquarium. Rain or shine (or hail) he has never failed to show. We love you Simon!!
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Living the dream on the Oregon Coast!
Seaside Aquarium
Hank, meet Henry. Henry, meet Hank! These two are so funny, they have become the most unusual pair. Every morning before the Aquarium opens Henry goes inside and sits on the octopus's tank. The octopus is just as interested in Henry and Henry is with him. #BFF
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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.