California Sea lion

Essay by agassi52Junior High, 7th gradeA+, January 2007

download word file, 4 pages 3.3

The California sea lion is a member of the Pinnipedia order and the Otariidae family, and is one of the three subspecies of Zalophus californianus. The difference between seals and sea lions is ears. Sea lions, but not seals, have flaps of skin that cover their ear holes while under water. Male sea lions or bulls can reach 1000 lbs, more often 850 lbs or 390 kg and 7 feet in length. Females are considerably smaller and grow to be 220 lbs or 110 kg and up to 6 feet or 1.8 m in length. California sea lions are found all over the California coast. Some have been found as far north as British Columbia.

The average lifespan of a California sea lion is around 20 years, but some have lived as long as 30 years. The California sea lion lives in cool waters and inhabits rocky and sandy beaches of coastal islands and shorelines.

California sea lions are highly adaptable to alien environments. Sea lions congregate in large groups on land, colonies, and smaller groups in the water, rafts. The groups enable sea lions to ward off predators and increase the amount of food they are able to obtain. The current population of the California sea lion is between 161,066 and 181,355 and is increasing at about 5% each year.

California sea lions are seasonal and partial migrators. This means that only the males migrate according to the season. The main reason for migration among sea lions is the abundance of food and breeding. During the annual breeding season, which occurs between May and July, the males and females congregate on an island or beach to give birth and mate. These breeding grounds are called rookeries.

All sea lions have the same migration, although the routes...