The lovable (and lethal) sea lion - Claire Simeone
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You learned all about the adaptations that marine mammals have to allow them to live a life in the sea. There are even more specializations that marine mammals’ bodies have than what we described in our video. You can read more about the specializations that marine mammals have in their blood and muscle here, and read about how marine mammal lungs are specialized to prevent them from getting ‘the bends’.
Sea lions have an incredible memory, and can remember how to perform tasks after 10 years with no practice in between. Read this article to meet sea lion Rio, who helped scientists to understand just how powerful sea lion memory is. Sea lions have also shown that they are similar to us in more ways than just a good memory; watch this video of Ronan, a California sea lion that was the first non-human mammal shown to be able to find and keep the beat with music.
What happens when a sickness affects a sea lion’s memory? Sea lions can be sickened by domoic acid, a toxin produced by marine algae. Watch this video that describes how domoic acid can affect sea lions, and how we can learn from them to better understand our own health.
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