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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.
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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
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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.
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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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We live in such a wonderful place, with so many wonderful people. The dedicated staff of the Haystack Rock Awareness Program noticed this young western gull chick struggling on the beach. They were able to capture the little guy and bring it into the aquarium, where we could keep him safe and calm until being transfer to the Wildlife Rehab Center of the North Coast. After a little TLC this guy will be released back into the wild. Good job guys!
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Yesterday we were given a unique opportunity to examine and dissect a 10 foot robust clubhook squid (Onykia robusta). The 10 foot 90 pound squid washed ashore near Silver Point, just south of Cannon Beach. It had been dead for a little while and some scavenging had occurred but all in all it was in pretty good shape. The clubhook squid is the third largest squid species, reach a maximum length of about 12 feet. Little is know about the life history of these amazing giants, so we were very exited to be able to get a closer look...
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These casings, produced by the Cellophane Worm (Spichaetopterus costarum), often wash ashore in masses during the spring and summer months along the Oregon Coast. 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.
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People have been asking about these strange 'bumps' on the beach. There are usually only two culprits, either mole crabs or olive snails. To find out you must dig a little...this time it happened to be purple olive snails (Callianax biplicata). When the tide goes out these snails quickly burrow into the sand in order to stay wet and for added protection from predators.
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Harbor seal pups are still showing up on local beaches. This time of year some are already on their own. They only stay with and nurse from their mother for 3-4 weeks before embarking on life's adventure on their own. Please remember they still need a place to rest, learning to hunt can be very tiring. Give them space and enjoy their cuteness from afar.
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Beautiful weather and great low tides all weekend, time to get out and enjoy nature!
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What's that blob!?! The Pacific ocean hosts a variety of gelatinous species, and depending on the tide, they end up along Oregon's shore lines. This summer, our beach has been inundated with one species in particular: the water jelly.
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The first day of the Seaside Beach Discovery Program is going great! It is a bit drizzly but we found some awesome critters to share with people. The Seaside Beach Discovery Program is a free program which runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (though it is weather dependent). We are set up in front of the Aquarium, so come on down and see what we've discovered!
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Wow, how time flies! Happy birthday Scully, our sweet girl turns 20 today.
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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.