Eco-Activity #55: Build a Marine Mammal for World Oceans Day!

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Meet the Patagonian Sea Lion!

Patagonian sea lions are found along the coast of South America, gathering in large colonies along the beach. Adult males have a massive neck and chest and a characteristic upturned snout, and can grow to almost 3 metres long and weigh up to 300kg—in contrast, females only reach about half this size. Many hundreds of thousands of Patagonian sea lions were killed by commercial hunters in the 19th and 20th centuries, some until as late as the 1950s, and several populations were heavily depleted as a result. Although there is currently no commercial hunting of the species, they still face threats due to fishing net entanglement, ocean pollution, and habitat disturbance.

Kids who sign up to be Earth Rangers do so because they care about animals and the environment.

Your adoption will help Earth Rangers support International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC), Argentinean researcher Patricia Gonzalez and her Fundación Inalafquen, and the Provincial Environmental Rangers as they work to protect the important South American beach site of Bahía de San Antonio. Working with local rangers and the community to protect the site and reduce the impacts of human disturbance will help ensure this important habitat remains safe for the sea lions and other animals that rely on it for years to come.

You can help support important research to protect this unique species by purchasing a Patagonian Sea Lion Wildlife Adoption kit!

Plushie adoption kits are only $40 and include a certificate and a poster, and when you make your purchase through the Earth Rangers App your child will also earn points to help them level up on their Earth Rangers journey—plus a set of virtual rewards they can show off!

Are Digital Adoption packages more your style? They’re only $10 and an Earth Rangers App exclusive! These include a virtual badge, a virtual animal to accompany your avatar on the home screen in the app, a cool avatar bonus item, and a virtual adoption certificate!

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!

  1. Choose any mammal. Giraffe, squirrel, wolf, lemur, even your own housecat!
  2. 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?
  3. 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!

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