Sea Lion

photo by Andrew McKinlay CC BY-NC
California Sea Lion

Sea Lion are found in every ocean except for the Atlantic. Steller (Northern) Sea Lion are found from Alaska to central California, while California Sea Lion are found from Vancouver Island to Mexico.

Sea Lion are large sea mammals with flippers to help them move. They have short, coarse brown fur, dog-like faces, and small ear flaps. They have a very loud bark. Steller Sea Lion are larger and heavier (9-11 ft long, 1000-2500 lbs) than California Sea Lion (6-8 ft long, 220-660 lbs).

Sea Lion use their flippers to walk, climb, and swim. They can often be seen in harbor areas and gather on offshore islands to breed. Sea Lion are very social and often rest closely packed together.

Sea Lion give birth to one pup a year between May and July. The pups are nursed by their mothers for 6-12 months.

Could it be? Harbor Seal are smaller, have shorter flippers, and no ear flaps. They are unable to support themselves on their flippers and inch forward on their bellies.

Did you know? Sea Lion are very playful and have been known to "surf" breaking waves.

See Also: Barnacle, Blue Mussel, Clam, Crab, Harbor Seal, River Otter, Sand Dollar, Sea Anemone, Sea Otter, Sea Urchin, Starfish