Animals don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, they have evolved specific strategies to ensure their survival year-round. Because it’s the New Year, and because I love a good pun, let’s call these survival strategies re-ZOO-lutions. Below are examples of re-ZOO-lutions of animals found around the Port and Puget Sound.
Hummingbirds need to gulp a lot of sugar to fuel the buzz of their wings, which beat at a rate of 60-80 beats per second. If we had the hummingbird’s metabolism, we’d have to consume around 155,000 calories per day!
This little moon jelly was spotted in the Sitcum Waterway outside the Port’s Administration Building. Jellyfish aren’t fish at all! They are invertebrates with stinging cells like their relatives, sea anemones and corals. Jellyfish can move by pulsating, but they aren’t strong enough to swim against the current. They float through the water and eat tiny, microscopic animals that cross their path.
Orcas live in large family units called pods. Babies will stay with their mothers in the same pods their entire lives. A single pod may have multiple families living together. Pod living is helpful for hunting and caring for young or injured individuals.
These mussels live under the floating dock in the Sitcum Waterway. Mussels attach themselves to rocks, pilings and other hard surfaces with sticky fibers called byssal threads. The byssal threads anchor the mussels so they aren’t washed away by crashing waves.
Nobody is worried about a beach bod here! These California sea lions were spotted in Commencement Bay on New Year's Day. Like other marine mammals, they are warm blooded and rely on blubber, a thick fat layer under the skin, to keep warm in icy waters.