While sea lions and seals look pretty much the same, both having long front flippers and long sleek bodies, they are different in two ways:
1) Sea lions have small ear flaps on each side of the head, whereas seals just have tiny opening for their ears.
2) Sea lions are able to rotate their hind flippers forward to help them move on land. Seals cannot do this, and must wriggle, roll, or slide to get out of the water and to move around on land. The above image is a sea lion.
Did you know?
A group of sea lions and/or seals in the water is called a raft. Males are called bulls and females are called cows.
Male sea lions can range from 150 lbs to the over 2200 lbs!
Sea lions and seals live for 30-40 years.
During the breeding season, males roar loudly and continuously to establish or defend their territories.
Females bark loudly so that their pups can pick their mothers out from among hundreds of sea lions.
Sea lions/seals can dive up to 600 feet and stay submerged for up to 40 minutes!
Most sea lions eat fish, squid, crabs and clams but the largest sea lion, the steller sea lion, also eats seals.
Sea lions and seals can swim up to 25 miles per hour.
Sea lions and seals have long whiskers. Each whisker is loosely attached to the upper lip where it is rotated around with the underwater currents to help locate any food swimming nearby.
IMPACT OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES ON SEA LIONS: Unfortunately, not only do sea lions and seals get caught in fishing nets, in some areas, sea lions and seals are shot by fishermen who blame them for damaging their nets.