I'm still in a Polynesian frame of mind...
... and so I've been thinking about what I saw in Tahiti and French Polynesia quite a bit over the past couple of weeks.
While there, I saw lots of wildlife. Such as this anemonefish I found on Raiatea,
and black-tipped reef sharks...
... and while there's a fair bit of large fauna (I can't resist showing you this group of eagle rays that flew past us one afternoon),
I noticed that there were few mammals in the sea. Sure, I saw a few dolphins, and the islands are famous for their humpback whales. But no otters (which I didn't really expect), and very oddly, no seals or sea lions! I've seen seals in Hawai'i, but why nothing south of the Equator?
This leads to today's Challenge:
1. Is it true there are no seals or sea lions in Tahiti? If so why not? (Or did I just miss them?)
I'm used to seeing seals / sea lions just about everywhere. This is what I see locally in Northern California,
|Harbor seals hauled out on a beach near Gulala, CA|
So why are none of these (apparently) in Tahiti?
2. (Extra credit) On board our ship I found this device. I'm not a big ship sailor, so I don't know what it is. Can you figure out what this is, and what it's used for on board?
As always, the real Challenge not just to find the answer, but to let us know HOW you did it. What searches did you do? Did you actually just ask someone? (That's a legitimate way to do SearchResearch Challenges!) Or did you just happen to know? (That's okay too--just let us know.)
Just tell us HOW... in the comments below.