Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sea Lion surprise

Took time out from the day job to take Dog for a good walk along the sea front and came across this piece of waterfront theatre macabre, a decidedly deceased Sea Lion. Possibly a Steller because of the lighter coat colour and wider, flatter snout. It's also over the maximum size (2.5m) for a California Sea Lion. The one in the pictures I took is 2.74m long as close as I could measure.
The scale in the picture can be ascertained by the tape measure, which is stretched out to twelve inches in the top picture (305mm) and twenty four inches (610mm) in the picture below. As you can see, the corpse is pretty fresh and despite the gulls having pulled the eyes out, is in pretty good condition. Another couple of tides will change things though. My smaller walking staff as seen in both pictures is 50 inches (1.27m)long to give a further idea of scale.

Now this is the third dead marine mammal I've come across in the last four months or so on the same hundred metre piece of waterfront. On this one there were two blemishes in the pelt that could possibly be bullet holes, but I can't be sure because I've only ever seen bullet holes in people before now (Long story, one I'll save for another day. Suffice it to say I didn't cause the holes in the people).

Two dead seals and a Sea Lion washed up within four months on the same stretch of shoreline? That I think pushes the envelope of coincidence a bit too much. Has someone been potting the local Pinniped population? I'm told that it happens. Possibly as a measure to protect the local Salmon population, which is currently at a low.

No comments: