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Thu Dec 6, 2018, 11:07 PM

Is the seal a victim, or the eel, or both?

Endangered Hawaiian monk seals face new challenge: eels stuck up their noses

Picture of monk seal with eel up its nose shared by Noaa was only latest episode to occur in the past two years, baffling researchers.
(picture at link)

Researchers first spotted a seal with an eel nasal appendage in the summer of 2016, emailing colleagues who initially thought it was a joke. It has since happened enough times for the monk seal program to develop guidelines on how to remove the eels.

“They get stuck in there really snug, so you have to restrain the seal and give the eel a firm tug to get it out,” said Littnan. “One of them was really far in so it was like a magician’s handkerchief trick, we just had to keep pulling and pulling.”

The phenomena could cause potential problems for the seals in terms of infections or even by affecting their ability to dive and feed on marine creatures. Seals typically seal their nostrils shut when diving into the water, a process hampered by the presence of a nose-dwelling eel. “Having a rotten fish inside your nose is bound to cause some problems,” Littnan lamented.


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/06/hawaiian-monk-seal-eel-stuck-up-nose-why

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I would say both the eel and the seal are victims here.
Wow!

4 replies, 356 views

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Reply Is the seal a victim, or the eel, or both? (Original post)
mysteryowl Thursday OP
pangaia Thursday #1
htuttle Thursday #2
sweetloukillbot Thursday #3
sweetloukillbot Thursday #4

Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 11:11 PM

1. I can't look.

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 11:18 PM

2. It's apparently mostly younger seals who end up with eels in their nostrils

Maybe it's a stupid teen seal dare? Like eating laundry detergent, for example.

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Response to htuttle (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 11:23 PM

3. Take the eel challenge!

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Response to mysteryowl (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2018, 11:24 PM

4. Snorting eel could explain why they're endangered... nt

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