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Golden Gate Park
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Sunday

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Fly on the Wall 

September 29, 2009

It’s Sea Otter Awareness Week

The Academy is home to the world’s largest collection of skulls, skeletons, and other preserved samples of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Research collections like ours are valuable resources for scientists studying California marine ecosystems, and informing conservation strategies. Southern sea otters live along the coast of California (mostly between Monterey and Big Sur), and are classified as threatened on the U.S. Endangered Species List.

From September 28 – October 3, 2009, stop by the Research Lab to see select specimens on display. Sea otter-themed books and resources will also be available in the Naturalist Center. For those ages 21 and up, stop by the sea otter table at NightLife on October 1 to talk to biologists about how these creatures are faring in the wild.

Vibrantly colored sea urchins (below, left) are a favorite food source among sea otters, and individuals who eat a lot of them over the course of a lifetime can end up with purple-tinted bones and teeth. Read more about their behaviors in this archive issue of California Wild.
urchins2 seaottercrop


Filed under: Education,Research Departments — Helen @ 10:59 am

September 21, 2009

38,000 animals and counting

As the Academy approaches its one year anniversary in the new facility, it seems appropriate that our cuttlefish have begun laying eggs. After all, our opening last September was just the beginning. These dwarf cuttlefish (sepia bandensis) are located in the Water Planet exhibit. You’ll have to look carefully for them, since they are able to change color, and can be tough to pick out of their surroundings. There are two in the photo below, plus a large cluster of dark eggs. The species is native to reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, and they feed on small mollusks, crabs, shrimp and fish, using a pair of feeding tentacles.

On September 26-27, to celebrate the Academy’s first anniversary in our new building, we have put together a fantastic lineup of cultural music performances and live animal demonstrations (including big cats). This weekend also marks the debut of our new planetarium show Journey to the Stars. Click here for a full schedule of events.

dwarf cuttlefish


Filed under: Aquarium,Exhibits — Helen @ 11:00 am

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