Today’s Eco Activity: Build a Marine Mammal
Today is World Oceans Day! Celebrate by designing and drawing your very own unique marine mammal!
All mammals—including marine mammals—have hair or fur, breathe air, are warm-blooded (or endothermic), and nurse their young. But the ocean habitat of marine mammals is extremely unique, and has resulted in some truly amazing adaptations in this group of animals. Marine mammals evolved from their land-dwelling ancestors over time by developing adaptations to survive and thrive in the ocean, including fins and/or flippers for swimming, blowholes or nostrils high on their head for breathing, and “rounder” bodies with blubber or very thick fur for keeping warm.
Scientists believe that “pinnipeds”, like the Patagonian Sea Lion, may have evolved from a bear-like creature 30 million years ago that became more adapted to life in the water. And by looking at a Patagonian Sea Lion and a modern-day grizzly bear, you can definitely see a family resemblance!
Your challenge is to create your own marine mammal!
- Choose any mammal. Giraffe, squirrel, wolf, lemur, even your own housecat!
- Imagine what it would look like if that species one day adapted to living in the ocean. What would it look like? How would get it around? Would it have flippers like a seal? Would it have a tail like a dolphin? How would it catch food? How would it stay warm?
- Draw it and share it! Be creative!
Take a look at these examples, expertly imagined by Earth Ranger Chris’ family:
Share your amazing animal creations on social media by tagging Earth Rangers and #WorldOceansDay! Let’s see how many fun new marine mammals we can find breaching the waves of the internet!
Want to help protect ocean habitat and awesome animals like the Patagonian sea lion? You can jump head-first into the waters of a conservation initiative by accepting one of these Missions designed to help sustain aquatic animals everywhere. Take a look at Shoreline Saver and More Plastic More Problems! Accept these Missions to get a fin up on keeping amazing aquatic habitats healthy and clean!