Seal or sea lion?

Two South Ridge Elementary School students volunteer to wear costumes as a part of the “Flippers, Fur and Fun” show put on by the Oregon Coast Aquarium. 

Staff of the Oregon Coast Aquarium took a long trek up to South Ridge Elementary School to bring the “Flippers, Fur and Fun” program to students at the school. The program entertained the kids while educating them on marine life. 

Students watched videos of animals at the aquarium on the big screen and also learned with photos of animals that live at the aquarium, which include Pacific harbor seals named Boots and Pinky and a California sea lion named Max. 

Both seals and sea lions are marine mammals that live a lot of their lives in the water but are warm blooded, breathe air and have hair or fur. They look similar, so volunteers from South Ridge, Jonah and Reese, offered to help demonstrate the differences between the animals. 

While Jonah and Reese were getting ready behind the screen, other students spent time doing the “Seal Shimmy” (a dance like the Hokey Pokey) and figured out ways that marine mammals are able to live in the ocean. 

Then it was time for Jonah and Reese to come back, in costume. 

With one student dressed as a harbor seal and the other a sea lion, both Jonah and Reese took a turn coming forward to show the distinguishing characteristics of each animal. 

They also learned how those animals are cared for at the aquarium. The learning also included hands-on workshops such as examining animal bones and pelts. 

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