Learn about our local expeditions along the California coastline as part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
The Academy's Ornithology and Mammalogy collections manager Moe Flannery discusses the Academy's roll in the network and what a "typical" response effort entails. All marine mammals are protected by federal law, even after death, and scientific information from these animals helps us better understand the health of marine mammal populations.
Maureen Flannery (Moe) is the acting collections manager for the the Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences.
Maureen Flannery of the California Academy of Sciences explains the forensics used to discover cause of death in marine life. Important findings in her research include death by human interaction involving fishery-related incidents, ship strikes and ... gunshot wounds? Performing a recent necropsy of a sea lion in Half Moon Bay, she found a bullet in its rib.
Science that deals with the animals and plants of the sea and estuaries and with airborne and terrestrial organisms that depend directly on bodies of saltwater for food and other necessities. Marine biologists study the relations between ocean phenomena and the distribution and adaptations of organisms. Of particular interest are adaptations to the chemical and physical properties of seawater, the movements and currents of the ocean, the availability of light at various depths, and the composition of the sea floor. Other important areas of study are marine food chains, the distribution of economically important fish and crustaceans, and the effects of pollution. In the later 19th century, the emphasis was on collecting and cataloging marine organisms, for which special nets, dredges, and trawls were developed. In the 20th century, improved diving equipment, submersible craft, and underwater cameras and television have made direct observation possible.