Animal Profiles

Green Sea Turtle

How do green sea turtles (known in the Hawaiian language as honu, scientific name chelonia mydas) get their name? From what they eat, or their diet! The algae they eat stains their subdermal layer of fat inside their body a green tint!

Seabirds

“Seabird” is a general term used to describe birds that spend most of their lives on the ocean. Hawaii is home to 22 species that include the Black-footed Albatross, Hawaiian Petrel, Laysan Albatross, Newell’s Shearwater, and more.

Sharks & Rays

Are sharks and rays fish? They are! The biggest difference between them is their skeleton. A fish has a skeleton of bone while sharks and rays have a skeleton made of CARTILAGE, the tough material that provides support for the body.

Penguins

Did you know that not all penguins live in the ice and snow? Contrary to belief, all 17 species of penguins are found in the Southern Hemisphere and only two species, the Emperor and the Adele penguin, live exclusively on the continent of Antarctica.

Hawaiian Monk Seal

Historically, there were three different species of monk seals in the world consisting of the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Hawaiian monk seals. Today, the Hawaiian monk seal is listed as endangered about 1,400 individuals remaining here in the islands.

Dolphins & Whales

What is a cetacean? A cetacean is a mammal that spends its entire life underwater such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises. What makes a cetacean different from a fish is that cetaceans have skin, whereas most fish have scales as well as lungs to breathe air!

California Sea Lion

Sea Lions, along with Seals, and the Walrus belong to the family called Pinnipeds. Pinniped means fin, or flipper, footed. Our California sea lions divide their time between basking, snoozing, diving, floating and, of course, eating.
 

Echinoderms

Echinoderms are the group of animals that consists of sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and crinoids. If we break the word down echino = spiny and derm= skin, so sea stars and their cousins are part of the spiny-skinned animals.

Reef Fish

What makes a fish a fish? Some fish have adaptations like countershading, or having a light underside and dark top allows sharks and some fish to blend into the ocean and sneak up on their prey while others exhibit mimicry to imitate other species.

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