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Seal Gifts and Sea Lion Gifts

Seals are typically sleek-bodied and barrel-shaped. Their bodies are well adapted to the aquatic habitat where they spend most of their lives. Their limbs consist of short, wide, flat flippers.

Sea lions are any of seven species in seven genera of modern pinnipeds including one extinct species. Sea lions are characterized by the presence of external ear. Their range extends from the subarctic to tropical waters of the global ocean in both the northern and southern hemispheres with the notable exception of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea Lions

Learn about Sea Lions
Sea lions are a collection of sea mammals that together comprise the taxonomic subfamily otariinae, of the family otariidae. There are six different species of sea lion. They can be found in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, living in coastal regions from tropical to subarctic waters of all oceans except the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea lions are born measuring two to three feet in length and weighing anywhere between 13 and 48 pounds, depending on their species. As adults, sea lions are more noticeably sexually dimorphic; females measure four to nine feet in length and weigh 110 to 600 pounds, while males measure about six and a half to 11 feet in length and weigh 400 to 2,200 pounds. The size of a sea lion varies by species, of which the Steller's sea lion, also known as the northern sea lion, is the largest.

Sea lions are predators, and hunt all of their food from the sea. They feed predominantly on fish and squid, and also eat clams and crabs. The Steller's sea lion also eats seals. Sea lions typically swallow their food whole, using their flat back teeth to crush any food that has a shell before consuming it. Sea lions eat large quantities of food in a sitting, typically consuming five to eight percent of their body weight at any one feeding.

Sea lions are very vocal animals, and can produce a wide array of sounds to communicate. Sea lion pups can identify their mothers from her unique voice alone.

Sea lions are well-adapted to aquatic life, and spend most of their time in the water. However, they mate and reproduce on land. Sea lions mate during the spring, during which male sea lions of every species except one venture onto land to make territorial claims. The females join them on land a few weeks later, at which point males form groups containing up to 15 females. These groups, called harems, will become family groups that later include their respective females' young.

The Australian sea lion bull partakes in different mating behavior to that of the other five species. Instead of seeking its own territory on land, male Australian sea lions fight over any available females.

Pregnant sea lions come to land late in the breeding season to give birth, and, later, to mate. Typically, females give birth to one live pup, though twin pups have been born on rare occasions. Sea lion pups gain the ability to walk about half an hour following birth, and can swim, albeit incompetently, at birth. During a nursing period of about six months in length, pups' mothers care for them dutifully and teach them vital skills, such as swimming, hunting, and defense. Pups are weaned after this period, but may remain with their mothers for an additional year. On average, sea lions live for 20 to 30 years.

About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals an educational wildlife and animal website.

Seal and Sea Lion Gifts




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