Fitness Friday: Playtime after the feasting

Since the feasts of Thanksgiving, many people are getting outside to work off that turkey and gravy today. Whether you're taking a stroll, hitting the gym, raking or playing an informal game of touch football, there are plenty of ways to get active.

Zoe paused just long enough for us to snap a picture. 

In fact, play is a great way for kids of all ages to move it! Take the sea lions, for example. Zoe and Sierra are almost always on the move, and they are indeed a playful pair. In honor of Fitness Friday this week, we thought we'd share just one of the ways these gals play.

Sprinkler time!

Zoe appears to love the way sprinklers and hoses feel in her mouth.

This picture shows how limber the sea lions are!   

Zoe comes right up to the glass when the sprinkler is on, giving visitors an up-close look at these powerfully playful marine mammals.

The sprinkler isn't always on in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center. This activity is just a periodic form of enrichment that the marine mammal trainers use to keep the seals and sea lions active—both mentally and physically. Of course, we don't expect folks in the colder Northern climes to run outside to play in the sprinkler. But we hope you can get outside to play today—why don't you come see the sea lions play! And we hope it was a happy Thanksgiving for all our readers.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Hand- and flipper-made turkeys!

In the mammals department, a few of the trainers, interns and volunteers got together and made their own hand turkeys!  See if you can pick out the 'Flurkey'!  And just in case you missed Reggae’s flurkey (flipper-turkey) earlier this week, check that out here.

(Looks like someone is ready for a post-Thanksgiving nap!)

Sierra sleeping in the turtle pool!

Have a wonderful day!

– Marie


What's a Flurkey, you ask?

There are many traditions that go along with Thanksgiving. Some people have specific dishes they prepare each year, and others have specific activities or travel destinations. Last Thanksgiving, the seals received a fish feast!

The 2012 Thanksgiving feast—what's in store this year?

I’m sure many of you remember hand turkeys—tracing your own hand and coloring in the fingers. Hopefully more than a few of you made your own this year—everyone in the mammals department sure did! (Check back this Thursday to see a picture of all the hand turkeys the trainers and volunteers made!).

Here in the mammals department, we put a unique fishy spin on the idea: Flurkeys! Atlantic harbor seals do not have hands, but they have flippers! With the help from one of the trainers and some non-toxic water-based paint, Reggae, an Atlantic harbor seal here at NEAQ, made his own Flipper-Turkey: a FLURKEY!

 See how his flurkey measures up to a hand turkey.

Thanksgiving is also a time to remember everything we are thankful for. We are thankful for our amazing animals and for all of our visitors (first timers and returnees) who we get to share the aquarium experience with everyday.  Thank you!!!

 Happy Flurkey Day everyone! Eat lots and have a wonderful day.

The infinitely adorable Kit

— Marie


Flaherty butts in

When you have a youngster around, it's sometimes difficult to stay on schedule and get things done. When you have a curious young fur seal around, it's even more difficult. Watch as a training session with Ursula and Cordova gets derailed when a nosey Flaherty crashes the party.

Kids these days... Check out what Fitness Friday skill Cordova was working on during this training session before Flaherty interrupted.


See more of Flaherty and his antics:


Special visitor to the harbor seal exhibit

The World Series was a big deal for everyone in the marine mammal group—most everyone in Boston, really. Even Amelia and Isaac shared their team spirit. So you can imagine our excitement when we invited a member of the 2013 World Champion Boston Red Sox into the harbor seal exhibit!

Shortstop Stephen Drew poses for a picture with trainers and volunteers 

Stephen Drew and his family joined us to meet some of the harbor seals, learn about these animals and observe some of their skills. Reggae really showed off his flipper-to-eye coordination and leaping abilities when he congratulated the shortstop for his successes on the playing field. Just watch.

Way to Reggae and Boston Red Sox!


Congratulations to the home team!

Isaac may have been born at the Seattle Aquarium, but he's a strong, proud Bostonian now. And he's showing a little pride for the home team today—with some help from the trainers.

Congratulations to the World Champion Boston Red Sox! Enjoy your well-deserved victory parade today. If you're in the city for the parade, hop on over to the Aquarium and say hello to Isaac—one of the largest members of Red Sox nation.


Fitness Friday: Cordova shows off

We often talk about how athletic and graceful Northern fur seals are during Fitness Friday presentations, and here's some proof. Check out this video of Cordova showing off her flipperstand during a session at the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center.

And if you think Cordova's flipperstand is impressive, just wait until you see Isaac's!

Besides her exemplary flipperstand, Cordova can also be distinguished by her long whiskers!

Those are some impressive whiskers!