When you hear or read the term "marine mammal," chances are you think immediately of a sleek dolphin, or a graceful whale. But not all marine mammals are of the hairless variety. Sea otters, like the five we have here at Shedd Aquarium in fact, set the record for hairiness! Sea otters have more hairs per square inch on their body surface than any other known animal.
Although iguanas are vital to many ecosystems, they face serious threats. Deforestation and other human-caused disturbances such as predation and competition from non-native species, hunting, smuggling for the illicit wildlife trade, and unregulated tourism, have brought many species near extinction.
I have been lucky enough to spend many years in the water studying and swimming with sharks to learn how to best protect them. There are a lot of misconceptions about sharks, but to help clear up a few myths up here are five things I've learned from swimming with these amazing and important animals.