Amazing Facts

Sea Lions

Sea lions are marine mammals that have long torpedo shaped bodies
covered in short coarse hair. They are often confused with true seals,
but there are many distinguishing characteristics that can dispel
confusion between these two sea animals . The Sea Lion's flippers are
much larger than those of the seal, and their hind flippers have the
added adaptation of being able to turn forward so that they can be used
to aid movement on land.

The Alaska fur seal (Callorhinus alascanus), is not found at Sea Lion
Caves. The California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is seen all
along the Pacific Coast and is generally found at Sea Lion Caves from
late falls to early spring. It readily adapts to captivity and is
trained for circus acts.

Sea lions are carnivorous. Their skulls are
similar to those of bears and their jaws contain sharp teeth much like
those found in dogs, cats, and other flesh eaters. They feed
exclusively on fish they catch themselves; their diet varying with
whatever is abundant in the area. In the vicinity of Sea Lion Caves,
they appear to subsist chiefly on bottom fish such as skate, small
sharks, squid and various species of Rockfish. Sea lions may descend in
search of food to a depth of 80 to 100 fathoms, and normally remain
submerged no longer then four or five minutes.

Sea lions pups are about four feet long at birth and weigh from 40 to
50 pounds. They are slate gray in color for about six months, turn dark
brown until approximately two years of age, and they begin to assume
the lighter tan color of the adult. They remain with their mothers well
over a year and grow rapidly, averaging about six feet long at the end
of their first year.

The only natural enemy of the sea lion is the killer whale. Sea lions
can easily escape the whale's pursuit by scrambling out of the water
onto rocky ledges.

Related Tags: Sea  Animals  Lions  
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