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Diving with Alaska's Steller sea lions

Submitted by Amy Hartley
Phone: (907) 474-5823

02/18/05

Despite their bulk, Steller sea lions dive with grace and agility. They can stay submerged for up to eight minutes and dive to depths of 3,000 feet to maintain their diverse diet.

Jennifer Burns, assistant professor of biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, will discuss how diving and foraging behavior changes over the lifespan of the marine mammals in her lecture, "Diving With Alaska's Steller Sea Lions." The presentation will be held on Tuesday, February 22nd in the Westmark Gold Room.

In addition to explaining the sea lions' diving capabilities, Burns will offer insight on why the Steller sea lion population has dropped throughout the world. Since 1970, the number of Steller sea lions has decreased from 280,000 to below 100,000 worldwide. A quarter of the current Steller sea lion population resides in Alaska, predominantly along the Aleutian Islands.

The hour-long lecture is free and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Westmark Gold Room. Show up 20 minutes early to handle a sea lion pelt and learn fun facts about this endangered animal. All ages are welcome!

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Information on all lectures and presenters in the 2005 Science for Alaska Lecture Series is available at http://www.scienceforalaska.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Burns, Assistant Professor of Biology, UAA: (907) 786-1527 Amy Hartley, Geophysical Institute Information Officer: (907) 474-5823

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