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Marine Mammal Adaptations

from Alaska SeaLife Center

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How are so many animals able to live in cold Alaskan waters? Students will discuss which marine mammals in Alaska rely on blubber to stay warm, and which rely on thick fur and other adaptations. Observations of animal morphology and behavior aid their discoveries. Featured are: Steller sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, walruses, polar bears, and whales. Students review what they have learned by building their own clay harbor seal!

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $180.00

Price includes materials for up to 30 students. Extra materials are available for $1.00 per student.

$20.00 will be added to reservations made less than three weeks in advance.
Sessions for international schools may include extra postal fees.
Sites that book five or more sessions at once will be discounted $10.00 per session.


55 Minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5Public Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

5 recommended

Maximum participants:

30 recommended; 60 possible

Primary Disciplines

Mathematics, Sciences, Problem Solving

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Skype, iChat, Vidyo, Movi/Jabber, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

This program is available every day, beginning anytime after 7am Alaska time (11am Eastern time). See our website for seasonal recommendations.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Programs cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged the full cost. No fee for programs cancelled due to weather-related or similar school closures.

About This Provider

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Alaska SeaLife Center

Seward, AK
United States

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a world-class marine science facility that combines a research mission with an animal rescue and rehabilitation program and public education. The center incorporates exhibits that immerse the visitor in the marine ecosystem of Alaska and provide opportunities to view animals in naturalistic habitats and research settings.

Darin Trobaugh

Program Details


1. This program begins by reviewing the characteristics of mammals.
2. Understanding why it's difficult for mammals to live in cold water, we observe how some marine mammals use blubber as an insulator. We identify the blubber-dependent marine mammals in Alaska.
3. We will then discuss which marine mammals rely on fur and diet, instead, to stay warm.
4. Students learn the physical differences between seals and sea lions.
5. Students then review the lesson by building fat, little clay seals with the instructor!
6. Time is allotted for questions and answers while we watch our resident animals swim around their habitats.


Through this Distance Learning session your students will be able to:
• Define the word adaptation.
• List several marine mammals and their characteristics.
• Describe some marine mammals that are specific to Alaskan waters.
• Explain how their adaptations make them well suited for their habitats.
• Use the scientific method to experience and explain the function of blubber.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

The following National Academic Standards will be addressed through this program.
Science as inquiry
-Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
-Understanding about scientific inquiry
Life science
-The characteristics of organisms
-Life cycles of organisms
-Organisms and environments