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:
- Sea lions have small ear flaps on each side of the head, whereas seals just have tiny opening for their ears.
- 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.
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 and Seals
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.
While unusual, manatees do occasionally swim as far north as Cape Cod.
Did you know?
- Manatees are slow moving, non-aggressive, and generally curious creatures.
- They can weigh up to 1200 lbs and reach up to 10 ft in length!
- The manatee’s closest land relative is the elephant.
- On average, most manatees swim about 3 to 5 miles per hour. However, they have been known to swim up to 20 miles per hour in short bursts.
- Half a manatee’s day is spent sleeping in the water.
- Manatees must surface for air regularly, but they have been known to stay submerged for up to 20 minutes at a time!
- Well known for their gentle, slow-moving nature, manatees have also been known to body surf or barrel roll when playing.
- Manatees can live up to 60 years.
- They have a large upper lip that is used to gather food, as well as for social interactions and communications of emotions such as excitement and fear.
- Manatees are believed to have the ability to see in color.
- Researchers have found that manatees may use taste and smell, in addition to sight, sound, and touch to communicate.
- Manatees are capable of understanding tasks, show signs of complex learning and demonstrate long term memory.
Impact of Commercial Fishing on Manatees
Though hunting manatees was banned in 1893 and manatees have few natural predators (sharks, crocodiles, killer whales and alligators) manatees are listed by the World Conservation Union as vulnerable to extinction. The current main threat to manatees in the United States is being struck with boats or slashed by propellers.