More Wacky Science from N. Oregon Coast and Seaside Aquarium
(Seaside, Oregon) – There is never a dull day at the north Oregon coast's Seaside Aquarium, it seems. If something wacky isn't washing onshore then the aquarium is dealing with a brand new surprise in one of its tanks. Or in the case of November, there was also some international fame involved. All photos courtesy Seaside Aquarium. Above: Lumpsuckers are the new feature at the aquarium.
Late in October, A beautiful common snipe came to the attention of the aquarium. He or she was found on the beach, apparently injured and in need of some medical attention. Educational specialist Tiffany snapped a couple pics of the little creature waiting for a ride to the Wildlife Center of the North Coast near Astoria.
Earlier in November, two injured surf scoters came through the aquarium.
“Looking drastically different from each other, the photograph on the left is a female surf scoter and the photograph on the right is a male,” said Boothe.
They too were sent to the wildlife center shortly after.
“Good luck little sea ducks,” Boothe said after they left.
If you were watching the National Geographic Channel on Wednesday, November 27, you may have seen a familiar face or two. The show “Jobs That Bite” featured a necropsy done here in Oregon of a harbor seal. The show, led by Jeremy Brandt, featured the aquarium's Jason Hussa in a segment about the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and the work of Dr. Debbie Duffield of Portland State University.
Hussa helped Duffield in her work in that episode.
It's part of the network's job to deal with harbor seals, California Sea Lions and other sea mammals that need attention on the beaches of the Oregon coast, or to figure out why they died to keep an eye the local population. The aquarium often assists Duffield in this way.
Finally, if you're looking for a touch of alien life right out of the Sy-Fy Network – but without the cheese of Sharknado – there is something Ridley Scott-esque growing at the Seaside Aquarium right now.
The facility's Oregon Tritons are laying eggs now, which means some wild little sights there.
“This monstrous snail is the largest snail in the Pacific Northwest region, its shell can reach up to 6 inches in height,” Boothe said. “These guys are highly carnivorous and feed on various invertebrates.”
Boothe said the pairing of tritons occurs from spring to the end of July. After mating, the female triton will lay the eggs on a vertical surface. The eggs are placed in rectangular capsules in a spiral pattern.
“Tritons will brood their eggs for a period of eight to nine weeks, until all are hatched to protect them from being eaten by other invertebrates,” Boothe said. “The eggs, or 'sea corn,' are laid one by one in an ever-widening circle.”
Each capsule contains 1,600 to 2,000 eggs.
Boothe said these larvae of the triton are pelagic and are referred to as veligers, a form of planktonic larvae.
Also, more Lumpsuckers have shown up at the Seaside Aquarium. These are somewhere between the Aliens flicks and Dr. Suess, and more colorful than many sea creatures you'll find at regional aquarium. They manage to be a bit freaky and cute at the same time. More of those below.
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