Bob Polaro’s 10 Tour Stops at Long Marine Lab


The Monterey Bay offers many extremes in abilities and

characteristics of the animal kingdom.


Click on Pictures for Larger Image


1) Shipwreck Deck:

·        Welcome to the Seymour Center, part of the Long Marine Lab. You’re in for a real treat if you haven’t been here before. We have the largest whale skeleton, a grey whale skeleton, two bottlenose dolphins, and a great indoor aquarium.

·        L.M.L., part of the I.M.S, is the only working research lab open to the public and is about 3 miles from campus. This was a brussel sprouts field before this center was built here.

·        Self funded, not university funded.

·        Younger family: Donated 40 acres of this land in 1974

·        Joseph Long: UCSC Supporter founded the Long drugstore chain.

·        H. Boyd Seymour: 2 million towards this center.

·        1978 – L.M.L. opened

·        2000 – Seymour Center opens

·        Notice the visitors as far as being disabled and the ages for the style of the tour.                        






2) Bluff:

·        Behold the Monterey Bay which conceals the awesome Monterey sub marine canyon, and part of the Marine Sanctuary which extends from Cambria to the San Francisco Bay. As deep as the Grand Canyon, is rich with nutrients due to seasonal upwelling, which makes this one of the richest marine environments in the world. 20 marine facilities are on the borders of this bay. Show where the pumps are…

·        La Feliz: 1924, at 9pm a sardine ship carrying over 3000 sardines, from Monterey to S.F. washed 200 feet offshore. Captain went to the bathroom at the wrong time. Joe Alvarez, local hero, catcher of a local team, semi-pro, tied a wrench to a rope and tossed to the ship which helped rescue the crew. Sardine cases kept floating from the ship, which gave locals free sardines for quite some time. The mast you see was later posted on the cliff and still stands to this day. This proves the stability of this cliff, which permits the construction of this center so close to the edge.

·        Caretakers residence

·        Radars across ocean

·        How many people have heard of the Grand Canyon? (for comparison)

·        What is that across the bay?

·        What do you see floating on the water? (tell about kelp)


3) Grey whale:

·        Here’s a smaller version of the whale that you see up the road a bit. It’s also a baleen whale. Why do you think it’s tilted? It was feeding in the mud, right faced. Scooping up fish and other food with his lower jaw. 1939 demise and recovery.

·        Migration: longest of any mammal. 5,000 miles from Alaska to Baja. Can see them passing by in December and January going south and March – April north.

·        Babies frequently attacked by killer whales. Note bones nearby.


4) Marine Mammal Overlook:

·        If lots of kids get the props bin and describe objects and ask questions, before entering the overlook. Note load cell

·         “Here’s your “Dolphin Show” you may have heard about! Both males. Primo 23 and Puka 18 from the navy due to budget cuts. Pool is 11.5 feet deep. Sea lions, harbor seal, elephant seal and sea otter tank. Pumps 400-800 gals/minute.

·        Primo – 360 lbs. Puka 400.

·        Up to 12 feet 600 lbs. Can live to 50 in captivity. 20-30 in wild.

·        Can swim 25 mph. Dive 700 feet. Dive for 10 mins.

·        Sleeps with half brain. Will not be released.

·        Studying physiology data collection using load cell like the one shown earlier.

·        Describe echolocation.

·        Talk about tuna nets.

·        Can’t smell. Eyes move individually.

·        Ken Norris – Big bang theory – stunning prey with clicks. Can trap prey with bubbles.

·        Can see 180 degrees.

·        Sea Otters: Wick, 6 male. Morgan, 10 male.Used with the tank tower seen here. Brought up ladder and dives to the bottom of tank.  Study metabolism. Pushes cinder block to get food.  600,000 hairs/inch. Oil mats hair. 12-15 yrs. Up to 102 lbs 5 ft long. Arms out of water.

·        Sea Lions: Rio,20 female Sprouts,17 male. Acoustic chamber.

·        Elephant Seal: Bernice,12 female. Grew up here. That’s her barking. Breeding season.

·        Falcon Release ledge:




5) LowerYounger Lagoon:

·        Interestingly shaped like a Y.

·        Part of the land donated by the Younger family. 19-20 acres.

·        Part of the N.R.S.

·        Recent storm the lagoon opened to the sea and dropped a meter deep.

·        Bridge collapsed overnight 1992

·        Off limits to the public above the tide line

·        Home to fox, skunks, rabbits, wood rats, cormorants, pelicans, egrets, ducks etc…

·        Trying to control hemlock, non-native poisonous plant.

·        Fish – stickleback and endangered goby.


6) Blue Whale:

·        “Miss Blue”, 50 year old female

·        Usually they sink and die; this one was washed ashore near Pescadero in 1979 and brought here after a month of removing the blubber and flesh. Transported by helicopter and truck buried for a year.

·        1986 constructed and displayed across the street.

·        Moved here in 1999. Rose to a height of 18 feet.

·        Was featured on Animal Planet a short time ago.

·        Jaw Bone 18 feet. Largest bone in the world.

·        90 degree angle mouth open. 3 ton krill/day

·        87 feet long. May be up to 100 feet.

·        Heart size of Volkswagen.

·        A baby can crawl through main artery.

·        Head 10 feet wide.

·        Blubber foot thick.

·        Dives ½ mile, 40 minutes. Swims 28 mph.

·        Lives to 90. Age by ear rings.

·        August, May south to give birth. Fasts. Never crosses equator

·        Pregnant 12 months. 75 lbs a day as fetus. 4000 lbs. 20 ft long. Milk very rich. 50 gallons/day. Grows a foot a week. 200 lbs/day.  8lbs/hr

·        What do you think this large animal eats? (open the cabinet to show krill)

·        What do you think he eats with? (Show the baleen)

·        How does a fishes tale move compared to a whale?

·        How many digits?


7) Elephant Seals:

·        If you think you’re looking at some replicas of circus animals you’re partially right. These are elephant seals, which are related to the elephant.

·        Declared extinct 3 times.

·        Note size differences between male, female and pub. Male 4000 lbs. Female 800 lbs.

·        Blubber thickness

·        Breeding: November. Vocalization. Single pups. Males may run over pups. Females lose 1/3 body mass.

·        Black hair molts to silver in summer.

·        8-10 months at sea.

·        Satellite sensors. Time depth recorders.

·        Ultimate free diver of the world. Diving: 21% blood. Much more oxygen. Blood almost black. 1-2 beats minute. Mile deep.


8) Wall of scientists:

·        These scientists and researchers are friendly normal people like you and I. They care about the animals that we see here and want the public to be informed on what they are doing. Most of them have been here to lecture on their studies during out training.


9) Sea water table:

·        Here’s you chance to observe and handle some marine creatures firsthand. This is actual sea water from the ocean right there

·        Sea Stars: Show mouth, stomach, and pinchers. Regeneration of arms. Jewel, Ochre, bat and leather stars. Snails sense when ochres are in the water and escape.

·        Live rock: algae, chitons, anemones, coral

·        Giant green anemone: sticky tentacles – stinging, related to jellies and corals. Eats mussels.

·        Plumose anemone

·        Gumboot Chiton: worlds largest. 8 plates. Show foot, mouth and gills.

·        Hermit crab: Get hand wet first. Wears old shells. Can steal food from anemones.


10) Entrance:

·        Thanks for coming and spread the word. Tell your friends and relatives about us.

·        1st Tuesday of each month free