Wildlife of Los Angeles County Beaches
Start writing a post

Wildlife of Los Angeles County Beaches

If you are planning on visiting the beaches of Los Angeles County next summer, it is important to know about some of the wildlife that you may encounter.

Wildlife of Los Angeles County Beaches
Image found at OceanHero.com

From Cabrillo Beach near San Pedro to Zuma Beach in Malibu; beach goers can find a wide variety of animals and other marine organisms frolicking amongst them in the surf. Like all wild animals, the ones you encounter at the beach must also be shown respect. Although not all of the marine organisms you may encounter are listed in this article, some of the most common ones are.

The most commonly seen marine mammals in the waters off of Los Angeles are the bottlenose dolphin and California sea lion. Both of these animals are known to play in the surf zone; riding waves, chasing fish, etc. Although it is possible that dolphins and sea lions may enter the surf zone while you or someone else is also in the waves, they will most often times keep themselves at a distance to humans.

With that in mind, accidents do happen and I can say I have personally seen a dolphin ride a wave too close to a surfer. When sea lions do enter the surf zone they are almost always fishing and thus not in the mood to associate. These animals will attack if approached.

Since the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 was passed, it has become illegal to harass any wildlife that may be in the area feeding or stranded. It is advised that if you or someone come into contact with a stranded sea lion, to contact a local wildlife authority and maintain a distance of Fifty yards. Stranded sea lions may be sick and hungry and may be easily panicked.

Another common organism among Los Angeles beaches is the jellyfish. Fortunately, the jellyfish is much easier to get out of the way of than the other animals. This is because it is a very slow swimmer. The jellyfish swims so slowly that it is really just floating in the water, drifting with the current.

As the jellyfish floats along it traps fish and little organisms in its stinging tentacles that dangle beneath it. When a swimmer runs into one of these in the water, it causes a red, itchy sting. Beachgoers can seek the assistance of local lifeguards or if they are in reasonable distance to their homes they can use a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water and apply it to the affected area. One type of jellyfish that can be found in the Santa Monica Bay is the Moon Jelly, which does not sting at all.

So the big question is: are there any sharks in the Santa Monica Bay?

The answer is yes!

There are many different species of sharks in the area including: the horn shark, cookie cutter shark, swell shark, banjo shark, and some random blues from the open ocean. Fortunately, there is little to be afraid of because these sharks are not the man eaters you are thinking of.

On top of not growing bigger than three feet, the horn shark and swell shark have mouths that are angled downwards for better eating of food on the ocean floor. There have been occasional sightings of larger white sharks in the area by surfers, but no more than one or two a year and never any attacks on people. The shallow waters where people play is not the proper environment for large sharks.

The marine environment has a great variety of organisms that can be both beautiful and harmful. As long as we show these creatures respect, they will show us ours. We are only visitors in their world and we must leave it the way we found it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

illustration of the fibonacci sequence

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments