Monday, November 7, 2011

Stellar Steller Sea Lions

Consider this the public service announcement part of my blog. The editing impulse is just too strong and after seeing this error in print, yet again (and in a fairly major report, no less), I needed to act. If nothing else, it's therapy for me.

Folks, when it comes to sea lions and jays on the west coast, they are Steller, not Stellar.

Steller sea lions and Steller jays (or Steller's) are named for Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1742). Steller was the naturalist on Vitus Bering's last voyage across the North Pacific. Apparently he was the first non-native to step foot on what would eventually become Alaska. He has several animals named after him, including the now extinct Steller's sea cow, a North Pacific relative of the dugong and manatee, the Steller's eagle and the Steller's eider.

Steller and the boys had quite the adventure and you can read all about it in the highly readable, Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: The Epic Story of Early Naturalist Georg Steller and the Russian Exploration of Alaska by Corey Ford.

1 comment:

  1. Sea lions are really amazing creatures. They are sweet and adorable creatures.