Monday, September 2
Monk Seal Monday....Scoop on Poop!!
Seems poop was of particular interest to Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady , Francesca Villa and Blueberry's Mom. So I'll give ya a little scoop on the poop.
Fortunately for you, I wasn't able to find any of my "poop" photos, but let me tell you the science folks consider collecting monk seal poop to be like finding gold. Poop is golden!! It is, because it tells the science folks what the story of the monk seal's diet. Recent findings show that seals eat approximately 15lbs of seafood a day . Their diet consist of reef fish, octopus(tako), eels, lobsters, crabs and squid. Seals seem to prefer yummies found in holes or under rocks and not eating the popular gamefish that swim in open water. It's a amazing what the poop tells, with this info we learn to what depths the seals go to obtain their lunch.
Collecting the poo can be somewhat challenging as the science folks like it fresh--better to determine the type of fish digested. Now collecting fresh poo is tricky, as we CAN NOT disturb a seal in any way to collect the "gold" so, most of the time it's just luck that you come upon a fresh specimen!!That's why it's such a rare find. Poo is poo and yes it stinks, of course it's worse when it's fresh. If we do find a specimen we bag it, then bag it again and it's sent to the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center on Oahu. The fun begins there when an eager intern digs into the bag and determines what the seal has been munching on by studying all the little fish bones in the poo. Let me tell ya those folks get really excited when the poop arrives!!
So there you have the scoop on seal poop.
(Wonder if my good friend Barbara on Oahu might have some photos to share??? Oh Barbara!!!)
Next time I'll address KB's questions on monk seal pups and the Lady's interest in what is impacting the seal population.
Got questions, be sure to leave a comment on this post!!
Seal ya next Monday.