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Learn all about animals of the ocean at Marine Mammal Day

Science, Education, Travel Editors. Images available.    
Contact: Emelia.Cowans@naturalsciences.org; 919.733.7450, x305

Spend a day exploring the ocean in the middle of downtown Raleigh! On Saturday, January 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. visitors are invited to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences to learn about the marine mammals along our coast — including whales, dolphins and seals — and the challenges they face in today’s world. Educational stations on North Carolina’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program, dolphins along our coast, climate change’s impact on our oceans and unique adaptations marine mammals have for aquatic survival will extend from the first through third floors of the Museum. Outside the Museum on Bicentennial Plaza, visitors can go inside our GeoDome, a 12 x 8 ft inflatable, immersive, visualization environment to watch a fascinating program on climate change’s impacts on marine mammals.

Experts will also be on hand to give exciting talks in our first floor auditorium and Windows on the World theater on the 3rd floor. Learn all about the Museum’s newest whale, Stumpy when Susan Barco of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center presents “Stumpy’s Story: The Life and Death of a North Atlantic Right Whale” in the auditorium at 10 a.m. Immediately following, Steve Gerkin with North Carolina Zoo will give a talk called “Arctic Awareness: Polar Bears, Disappearing Ice and More” at 11 a.m. Other talks will happen throughout the day with the last one starting at 3:45 p.m. Other partners in this free event include NC Aquariums, the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, NC Fossil Club, NC Maritime Museum, Duke University, NC State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

There will be several cool activities for kids of all ages and teens including face painting, craft activities and an interactive echolocation booth. Echolocating animals emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls that return from various objects in the environment. Echolocation is used for navigation and for foraging (or hunting) in various environments. Bats, dolphins and certain species of whales are commonly known to echolocate.

For  more information about Marine Mammal Day, contact Liz Jones at 919.733.7450, x523 or by e-mail at liz.jones@naturalsciences.org.