The spotted ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei) is a chimaera and has some characteristics of sharks (cartilaginous fish) and some characteristics of bony fish. This deep sea species can be found as deep as 1000 meters and can be spotted cruising along the seafloor looking for shrimp, clams, worms, sea stars, or other fishes to feed on! (Photo Credit: Jean DeMarignac / NOAA MBNMS)
The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is well known for its amazing annual migration. With a wingspan of 25-29 inches and a weight of only 3-4 ounces, this small bird migrates around 22,000 miles from Arctic breeding grounds to its wintering grounds off of Antarctica! (Photo Credit: Ken Conger, NPS)
In 1994, seabird biologist Harry Carter had a vision: to restore the common murre colony at Devil’s Slide Rock, which had been completely abandoned as a result of an oil spill and gillnet fisheries. Carter assembled a daring team, piloted zodiacs in rough seas, and climbed the rock to place decoys he hoped would attract the murres back to their old home. Year after year, that work continued, and more birds started breeding on the rock. Thanks to this long term commitment over the past twenty years, the colony today is now home to 2,000 nesting common murres.
From striving to thriving, the Brown Pelican is an endangered species success story! Nearly extinct in the 1970's they have rebounded to healthy numbers since DDT was banned. The Endangered Species Act made this possible and the California Brown Pelican was delisted in 2009. (Photo Credit: Matt McIntosh/NOAA)
The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) population has been rebounding in Northern California in recent years after historic declines due to pressures from hunting, pollution and habitat loss. Although somewhat similar in appearance to their relatives the sea otter, the river otter does not float on its back and is much more agile on land. They reach lengths of about 4 feet (including their tails!) and weigh 10-30 pounds. They can be found in a wide variety of marine and freshwater habitats where they search for fish, sea stars, crabs, mussels, amphibians, and bird eggs to feast on. (Photo Credit: NPS)
Shortly after hatching, common murre chicks stretch their wings for their first... swim! Common murres learn to swim and dive before they fly. In fact, they are such incredible divers and swimmers that they are often described as “flying” through the water. Make sure you give common murre chicks space as they enter Greater Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries for their very first time. (Photo: RJ Roush)
The shag-rug nudibranch (Aeolidia papillosa) can be found in the low intertidal and subtidal zones from Alaska through central California. Their shaggy appearance mimics the sea anemones that these nudibranchs feed on! (Photo Credit: Steve Lonhart, NOAA/MBNMS)
The copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) has pronounced spines and the rear two thirds of its lateral line is distinctly light which helps distinguish it from similar looking rockfish species. The copper rockfish can reach lengths of approximately 26 inches and has been know to live for 50 years!
(Photo Credit: Chad King, NOAA/MBNMS)