Students participating in Sitka Sound Science Center’s summer camp week, aptly named “Dem Bones,” recently finished assembling the skeleton of a California sea lion. The bones were cleaned and brought to Sitka by Dr. Shannon Atkinson of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. A group of 12 students, ranging from 6th to 12th grade, spent the week learning about the bones and putting the skeleton back together.
The California sea lion is slightly smaller but similar in appearance to the Steller sea lion. The sea lion the students reassembled came from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. The animal was stranded and rescued, but researchers believe it had developed domoic acid poisoning. Funding for the rearticulation project was provided by the Sitka Alaska Permanent Charitable Trust.