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mermaid purse
Skate Egg

Mermaid Purses Can Hold Real Treasure

  They may look like old chunks of kelp on the beach, but these brownish packets, also known as mermaidís purses, are the eggs of skates (cold-water relatives of rays).

Mother skates lay a single egg pouch on the sea floor and then swim away, leaving the fate of their offspring to chance. During storm events, egg cases occasionally wash ashore. Most eggs cases that are found on local beaches are empty shells, holding only sand and salt water. However, some still hold three to six small embryos, attached to their yolk-sacs. These embryos breathe through the membrane of the egg casing, so if the casing dries out, they will die.

Over the years, many beachcombers have found egg casings and brought them to the Aquarium for identification. Employees place them in ocean water and gently open them. If there are live embryos inside, they are left alone in a holding tank until they hatch and then raised.

Adult Skate Raised from Egg to Adult

Aquarist Jason Hussa with a grown skate, found in a beached egg case and raised in the Aquarium.

Baby Seals Must Be Left Alone to Survive

seal pup closeup Harbor seal pups are born in spring and summer and can be found resting on the beach while their mothers search for food.

Well-meaning people sometimes think that a baby seal alone on the beach has been abandoned, but this is not the case. The mother is often nearby, watching, but will not approach with people around. If the seal pup is moved, it has no chance of reuniting with its mother.

seal pup on rocks If you see a seal pup alone on the beach, leave it alone and call the Seaside Aquarium so we can post signs around the seal to encourage everyone to stay away. Do not, under ANY circumstances, touch or move the baby seal.

Marine Mammal Stranding Network in High Gear through Summer

As more people visit coastal beaches in spring and summer, potential interactions with marine mammals inc rease. Marine Mammal Stranding Network rep resentatives from the Seaside Aquarium work to help prevent injury to marine mammals or the public. They post signs near stranded animals and talk with the public about the dangers of interactions with these wild animals.

Call 503-738-6211 to report stranded marine mammals , including baby seals, in the area.

molting elephant seal

A molting elephant seal eyes Aquarium staff as they post signs informing the public to leave her alone.






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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.