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All About Sea Lions Essay

1482 words - 6 pages

Sea Lions
Sea lions are very social and super talented.
They are true party animals, both on land and in the water.
They can balance a ball on their nose, climb up a ladder,
honk a horn and swim up to 13 mph.
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia
Order – Carnivora
Family – Otariidae
Genus – Zalophus
• External ears with flaps and big eyes.
• Long flippers in the front which are like wings with no claws.
• Five digits in the back limbs with extensions of cartilage.
• Nails are on the middle three digits.
• A sea lion can walk on all fours.
• In the water, rear flippers are used to steer.
• Small head with whiskers on the face.
• Large body with blubber to stay warm.
• Small, flat tail between the rear flippers.
• They live both on land and in the water.
• Prefer rocky and sandy beaches of shorelines and coastal islands.
• Like to visit sandbars, quiet coves, protected tide pools and coastal access jetties or piers.
• Breed on islands off the coasts of Baja California and California.
• During months of nonbreeding, California males migrate to Puget Sound, Washington and British Columbia.
• Males from Baja California migrate to the Channel Islands.
• Most females will stay close to their breeding grounds and only move south during the months of nonbreeding.

• Sea lions are predators and get all their food from the ocean.
• They mostly eat squid and octopus or small fish such as anchovy or herring.
• They eat around 6% of their body weight.
• They do not really chew their food but tear it into chunks or even swallow it whole.
• They generally get the water they need from their food and do not actually need to drink water.
• During the breeding season, adult males do not eat while defending their territory.
• Males are called bulls, females are called cows and little ones are pups.
• Gestation will last almost one year and most pups will be born in the summer months.
• Females deliver their pups on land and typically give birth to only one pup at a time each year.
• The female vocalizes during and immediately following the birth of her pup and the pup vocalizes back instinctively.
• This vocalization helps to create the bond between mother and pup.
• Pups are delivered well developed
and are born with their eyes open.
• They are able to walk and swim
right away as well as shake,
scratch and groom themselves.

• The mother nurses her pup and then leaves to forage for food.
• Pups begin eating fish around 2 months old, but will continue to nurse for 6 to 12 months.
• Pups copy the social behavior of the adults and begin to group together when they are only 2 or 3 weeks old.
• A mother can find her own pup among hundreds of similar pups simply by their unique vocalization.
• Once located, she smells the pup as a final check to confirm that it is hers.
• Seal lions are extremely social animals.
• They can be easily trained and are found doing tricks in shows at zoos.
• During the breeding season, they gather in...

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