Ocean of Hope

What Type of Fish is Dory in Finding Dory?

What type of fish is Dory from the Finding Nemo and Finding Dory movies?

What type of fish is Dory and her parents?

Dory and her parents are Yellow Tail Blue Tangs or Blue Hippo Tangs or Pacific Blue Tangs or Palette Surgeonfish. Her Mom’s name is Jenny and her Dad’s name is Charlie.

What type of fish are Marlin and Nemo?

They are Ocellaris or False Percula Clownfish or Clown Anemonefish.

What kind of sea turtles are Crush and Squirt?

They are Green Sea Turtles, one of 7 species of sea turtles. Green sea turtles were named green for the fat on their body, not the color of their shells or skin.

What kind of ray is Mr. Ray?

He is a Spotted Eagle Ray. Fortunately he’s not the type of Stingray shown migrating in the movie or else he’d be leaving his students behind! There is a specific kind of ray known as the Golden Cownose Ray that may migrate in groups of up to 10,000!

What kind of whale is Bailey?

Bailey is a Beluga Whale. Belugas are often called the “canaries of the sea” because of their vocalizations. Their (squishy) fat-filled melons (heads) are supposed to help with echolocation, the sonar that many whales use in the ocean.

what type of fish is Dory, Finding Dory, Destiny, Dory, Whale Shark
Dory and Destiny the Whale Shark from Finding Dory Photo: © Disney Pixar 2016

What kind of fish is Destiny?

Destiny is a Whale Shark. It’s cute that she and Dory knew each other and can speak whale, but Destiny is a Shark, not a Whale! She’s the largest shark in the ocean, but only eats tiny plankton with her cavernous mouth. Whale Sharks do have poor eyesight because their eyes are so tiny compared to their bodies, but they are not clumsy. Anyone who has snorkeled with Whale Sharks know they can turn on a dime to avoid swimming into you!

What kind of octopus is Hank?

Hank is a generic octopus. Octopuses are masters of camouflage and many can turn orange like Hank. He is actually missing an arm, so he’s a “septopus.” In real life, the octopus would grow any missing arms back. There are so many neurons in a severed octopus arm that it can move and hunt on its own!

What kind of Sea Lions are Rudder and Fluke?

Sea Lions are probably California Sea Lions. I’m guessing they are California Sea Lions because part of the movie takes place off of California. If they were both male, then they could be found off of Pier 39 in San Francisco where bachelor males hang out and entertain tourists.

What kind of Sea Otters are the baby Sea Otters?

The baby Sea Otters are oh so cute! They are probably Southern Sea Otters, mainly found off the California coast. Sea otters don’t stand up on their hind legs like river otters do, and they couldn’t climb up the poles to the freeway! In some press pictures, it looks like there are baby sea otters in a group. There would never be a group of babies together because a wild Sea Otter pup stays with Mom 24/7 and they rarely socialize with other mother/pup pairs. Even surrogate Sea Otter Moms at the Monterey Bay Aquarium only take care of one pup at a time!

What type of bird is Becky?

I speculate Becky is a Pacific Loon. Loons may mate for life! They eat mainly fish, crustaceans, and insects.

I loved seeing Finding Dory and here is my review!

For more images of the movie visit Finding Dory Images at collider.com
side-by-side (Finding Dory image vs. real animal images) at Mother Nature Network’s Meet the Real Animals Behind Finding Dory

Click here for The Real Fish of Finding Nemo
Click here for The Real Fish (and Sharks!) of Finding Nemo Part 2

10 Endangered Ocean Animals: Happy Endangered Species Day!

Hector's Dolphin
Maui's Dolphin photo by WWF/Will Rayment

10 Endangered Marine Animals

1. Maui’s Dolphin: found off of New Zealand, only 55 individuals remain

2. Northern Right Whale: found in Atlantic Ocean, only 350 individuals remain

3. Vaquita: small dolphin found off of Baja Peninsula, Mexico, 500-600 remain

4. Mediterranean (less than 400 remain) and Hawaiian Monk Seals (approximately 1100 remain)

5. Sea Turtles: 6 or the 7 species of sea turtles are endangered (Green, Hawksbill, Kemp’s Ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead, and Olive Ridley)

6. Staghorn Coral: has declined by 98% in the Caribbean since 1980

7. Beluga Sturgeon: hunted for their caviar (eggs), 1100 remain in the Caspian Sea

8. Coelacanth: an ancient order of fishes, considered the most endangered order in the world

9. Southern Sea Otter: up to 2,300 individuals remain

10. Bluefin Tuna: as few as 25,000 mature individuals remain

Disclaimer: There are hundreds of ocean species that are endangered (1,000’s if you consider the animals and plants we have yet to discover). I chose the top ten endangered species that I felt people might have heard of.

UPDATE: As of May 2015 less than 100 Vaquita remain

Sources: allaboutwildlife.com
World Wildlife Fund
Smithsonian Ocean Portal

10 More Amazing Sea Otter Facts

sea otter facts
Sea Otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

10 More Amazing Sea Otter Facts

1. Sea Otters, under the (United States) Endangered Species Act of 1977, are considered “threatened with extinction.” Sea otters technically are not an endangered species.

2. Sea Otters can dive up to 5 minutes, and average 60 feet deep (but can dive up to 300 feet).

3. Sea Otters were thought to be extinct from fur hunting until a raft of up 32 individuals was found off of Big Sur, California in 1938.

4. Sea Otter senses: good vision above and below water, acute sense of taste and smell, use paws to feel for prey, groom, and use tools, use whiskers to sense vibrations in the seawater.

5. Sea Otters wrap themselves and their pups up in kelp fronds while sleeping so they do not drift away.

6. Besides predators (humans, great white sharks, killer whales), up to 40% of southern sea otters die from disease and parasites. One prevalent parasite, Toxoplasma gondii is found in cat feces (don’t flush cat litter!).

7. Sea Otters are considered a keystone species, because they keep in check (by eating) the sea urchins that devour kelp (they also “help” mitigate global warming).

8. Sea Otters spend most of their day grooming, foraging, eating, and sleeping.

9. Sea Otters’ metabolic rate is 2-3x greater than other mammals their size (they must eat 25% of their body weight a day).

And the last sea otter fact is:
10. Sea Otters are related to skunks and weasels.

Please see previous post 10 Amazing Facts About Sea Otters
Most facts from seaotters.com

My Unforgettable Moment with Mae, the Sea Otter Surrogate Mom from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Mae, southern sea otter mother
Mae, Surrogate Sea Otter Mom from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

I am very sad to hear of the passing of Mae on November 17, 2012. Mae was one of southern sea otters in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Exhibit. I first met Mae 11 years ago when she was named “199.” She did not have a “real” name yet, because the hope was that she would someday be released back into the wild. Mae was picked up as a 2 day old orphan from Santa Cruz, California.

I still remember the dark and foggy Monterey night on my volunteer swing shift when I held Mae in the palm of my hand. She was only days old, and probably only weighed a few pounds. My hands are petite sized, so she really was tiny!

I had made her “clamshake” formula earlier, and I fed it to her in a warmed human baby’s bottle. I supported the back of her head with one hand while I held the bottle to her mouth with the other hand. Mae guzzled the formula down quickly, and the white formula dribbled down from her mouth and onto her soft brown fur. Sea otter fur is so soft and dense (up to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch versus 100,000 hairs on a human’s entire head!) because the water in which they live is so cold (around 50 degrees Fahrenheit year round).

I placed Mae in the water trough next to her haul out, and cleaned her fur the best I could through my disposable latex rubber gloves. Sea otter pups cannot sink, so there was no fear of me letting go and her falling to the bottom of the tank. I dried her with bath towels, and groomed her with brushes or combs. I forgot why I picked her up, but as I held her, she nuzzled her tiny muzzle into my hand. In that moment, I knew that the hundreds of smelly tanks I had cleaned as a volunteer was worth it!

Peering through my dark welder’s mask, I could barely make out the black eyes and nose that a sea otter has. Human caregivers in the Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program, or SORAC, wear welder’s masks so the pups can’t make eye contact, and wear a large black poncho to disguise their human shape. The idea is to keep sea otter pups from bonding too strongly to humans, and stop them from interacting with humans when released back into the wild. Now the sea otters themselves are the surrogate mothers!

Mae was the first sea otter to raise a previously orphaned pup on exhibit. “207,” later named Toola, was the first sea otter surrogate mom in SORAC’s history. Her first surrogate pup, “217” is still alive in the wild, and he is even a territorial male! Talk about a second chance at life!

Holding Mae in the palm of my hand, I had never felt so close to any animal before. This tiny and frail sea otter needed me at that moment as much as I needed her. It was proof to me that all beings on the planet (furred, scaled, or human) are invariably connected whether we acknowledge it or not. I do not know how long that moment lasted, but it is etched in my memory for a lifetime.

For more on Mae, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Blog

For more about sea otters, check out my post, 10 Amazing Facts About Sea Otters

How Sea Otters Fight Climate Change

sea otters climate change
Sea otter wrapped up in kelp (photo by Monterey Bay Aquarium)

How do Sea Otters Fight Climate Change?

Sea otters fight climate change because they are a keystone species. They eat the sea urchins who graze on kelp. The kelp then flourishes and sequesters (sucks up) carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So sea otters indirectly fight climate change because without them the kelp would all be eaten by the sea urchins.

Here is one wild sea otter’s perspective on life in the kelp forest:

We sea otters have been called “global warming warriors”, but I do not know how to wield a sword! I have been known to use a big rock to open up my shelled prey though. It’s nice being one of the few animals that can use tools.

Kelp forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth. Instead of lush green foliage and lots of rainfall like the rainforest, the kelp forest has lush yellowish-brown seaweed and lots of wave action. Another difference is that rainforests are hot and humid, while kelp prefers colder waters (50 degrees F) but can live in temperatures up to 70 degrees F. It is one of the fastest growing plants on earth, as it can grow up to 2 feet in one day! Bamboo can also grow that fast on land.

I like living in the kelp forest because I am perfectly built to live there. My dense fur coat keeps me warm while I dive and catch my favorite seafood. My favorites include sea urchins, abalone (when I can find it!), and snails.

We sea otters like to wrap ourselves, or our pups in kelp fronds when we sleep. Some sea otters will even wrap a live crab in the kelp while they eat something else!

Go visit a kelp forest today, like at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Look for me and my buddies off the deck of the aquarium and on the virtual cams! And remember that sea otters help fight climate change!