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Green Turtle Biology, Natural History and Conservation

Posted by on Sep 24, 2020 in Animals, Featured, Teaching | 0 comments

Green Sea Turtles also known by their scientific name, Chelonia mydas, are one of seven different species of sea turtles. Chelonia mydas are distributed worldwide and live along the coast of over 140 countries (NOAA). Once fully grown, C. mydas are the largest of the hard-shelled turtle species and can reach up to 3-4 feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds. Their lifespan is unknown but estimated to be up to 60 years. Green sea turtles are unique in that they are herbivores and mainly eat seagrass and algae. They get their name from their...

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Osteomyelitis in Sea Turtles

Posted by on Sep 17, 2020 in Animals, Featured, Teaching | 0 comments

Anthropogenic activity has endangered the survival of sea turtle populations worldwide. Commercial fishing, coastal development, climate change, and pollution continue to be predominant threats for sea turtles. To maintain population sizes, marine animal rehabilitation centers rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles. This has allowed researchers to better understand the illnesses and infections encountered by turtles in the wild. Osteomyelitis is one of these diseases whose presence in sea turtles has allowed rehabilitators to...

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The Principles of Ocean Literacy and How Marine Animals and Rehabilitation Can Help Teach Them

Posted by on Sep 10, 2020 in Featured, Teaching | 0 comments

Since it was first introduced in 2004, the concept of “ocean literacy” has changed the way scientists and educators understand the role of public education of the ocean. The term resulted as a response to concerns regarding insufficient public awareness of ocean issues and anthropogenic impact, eventually laying the foundation for future highschool ocean curricula (Costa & Caldeira, 2018). Ocean literate citizens are defined as people who understand their influence on the ocean and the ocean’s influence on their lives in return...

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Otitis Media in Pinnipeds

Posted by on Sep 3, 2020 in Featured | 0 comments

Otitis media is the inflammation of the middle ear resulting in infection (Otitis Media, 2020). Otitis media is usually an extension of otitis externa through a rupture tympanic membrane (Mooris, 2004). Otitis media or middle ear disease is understudied in pinnipeds. However, otitis media in humans and domestic dogs/cats is thoroughly researched. While information on middle ear infections in other species is relevant, pinnipeds’ middle ear has a slightly different function compared to their fully aquatic and fully terrestrial...

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Habituation in Harbor Seals

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Featured | 0 comments

There is a long history of habituation of animals being an interest to humans. Habituation was originally defined by Groves P. M, Thompson R.F, and Spencer W. A., in 1966, but was later revised and the updated functional definition of habituation was published in 2009 (Rankin C. H. et al, 2009). As defined by Rankin C.H. et al, habituation is a behavioral response that decreases due to recurrent stimulation. Habituation is relevant in the understanding of current animal behavior and interactions with humans. As global population continues to...

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NMLC Beautification Project Under Way

Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 in Building | 1 comment

For twenty-five years, The National Marine Life Center (NMLC) has been part of the Buzzards Bay community.  Its building, previously a discount home improvement store, has not undergone any major renovations since its inception, and does not currently reflect the beauty of its surroundings. With community-wide efforts to upgrade the overall downtown Buzzards Bay area, the Board of Directors of the NMLC is stepping up to improve the appearance of its building and grounds. “As challenging as the timing is with the pandemic,” says Board...

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Northern Red-bellied Cooter Hatchling Club

Posted by on Aug 24, 2020 in Event News | 2 comments

The National Marine Life Center and Cape Cod Community College are proud to bring you this 9-month, online learning program featuring the Northern Red-bellied Cooter.  This turtle can be found in Massachusetts and is protected under the Protected Species Act.  The National Marine Life Center takes in ten hatchlings under the State Husbandry Program every year.  During this time, they are raised and the progress is documented for future research.  At the end of the program the turtles are returned to the State and then...

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Vocalizations in Pinnipeds

Posted by on Aug 20, 2020 in Featured | 0 comments

The pinniped family are social animals and display a wide range of vocalizations in social situations both underwater and above. In their natural habitat, they will use vocalizations for territory protection, mating, aggression, colony coordination, and pup identification. This group has proven their intelligence by being the only nonhuman primate to master vocal learning in captivity. Sounds of the vocalizations vary between each species and age. Pinniped species will​ ​perform a variety of vocalization sounds including​ ​short...

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Plastic and It’s Impacts on Marine Animals

Posted by on Aug 13, 2020 in Featured, Teaching | 0 comments

In today’s society, the demand for plastic is largely driven by its convenience and practicality. However, as global plastics production approaches 400 million tons each year, the benefits of this man-made material are largely outweighed by its environmental consequences. Since as early as the 1970’s, researchers have studied the impacts of plastic debris on marine life at both population and ecosystem levels (UNEP, 2016). Keep in mind that at this time only around 50 million tons of plastic were produced annually (Guern, 2019). Now, as...

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Patient Update: August 13th, 2020

Posted by on Aug 13, 2020 in Animals, Featured | 0 comments

This week was an exciting week at NMLC! We released our first harbor seals of the season! Bird, Plum, Ned, and Monomoy completed their rehabilitation and were returned to the ocean on Gooseberry Island. The event was live streamed on our Facebook page and the video is still available if you missed it! Back at NMLC, the seals in the pre-release pool ST2 continue to grow and improve in their mass feeding. While Bug, Seguin, and Montauk have mastered the mass feeding technique, Cleveland is still learning. Cleveland has progressed well with...

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