Sea Lion facts”
Sea lions live along the coastlines and islands of the Pacific Ocean. These fabulously aquatic animals are extremely fit for what might seem like a harsh marine existence to us. A reflective membrane at the back of the eye acts as a mirror, bouncing what little light they find in the ocean back through the eye a second time. This helps them see underwater, where light may be scarce. Sea lions also rely on excellent senses of hearing and smell.
The front flippers are strong enough to support the animal on land. They also serve to help regulate the sea lion’s body temperature. When it is cold, specially designed blood vessels in the thin-skinned flippers constrict to prevent heat loss, but when it is hot, blood flow is increased to these surface areas to be cooled more quickly. When you see an odd group of dark “fins” sticking out of the water in California harbors, it is usually sea lions sticking their flippers into the air to cool off.
A sea lion’s sleek body is perfect for diving deep in the ocean (up to 600 feet, or 180 meters) in search of tasty fish and squid. Because sea lions are mammals and must breathe air, they can’t stay underwater forever! But with the help of nostrils that seal up automatically when they dive, a sea lion typically remain submerged for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Sea lions are great swimmers, too, reaching speeds of 18 miles per hour (29 kilometers per hour) for short bursts. This helps them escape from their enemies, killer whales and sharks.
It can be pretty dark in the ocean, but sea lions can find their way around with the help of their sensitive whiskers. Each long whisker, called a vibrissa, is loosely attached to the sea lion’s upper lip. Like a straw in a soda bottle, each whisker can rotate around with the underwater currents, letting the sea lion “feel” any food swimming nearby.
All sea lions are carnivores, eating fish, squid, crabs, and clams. Steller sea lions also eat seals. Most food is just swallowed whole. Sea lions often toss the fish or squid up and around until it can slide headfirst down the mouth. They use their flat back teeth to crush food that has a hard shell before swallowing.
Male sea lions don’t eat during the breeding season. They care more about protecting their territory and making sure their females don’t run off with another male.
Life in a harem: Despite their adaptations for aquatic living, sea lions are still bound to the land for reproduction. Usually the males, called bulls, leave the water first in the spring to stake out territorial claims on ice, rocks, or the shore. The bulls gear up for this breeding season by gorging themselves on extra food to create an especially thick layer of blubber, allowing the individual to live for weeks without eating as he guards his territory and females. During the breeding season, bulls bark loudly and continuously to establish or defend their territories. Bulls also stare, shake their head, or lunge toward any opponent.
The bulls are several times larger that the adult females, called cows. During the breeding season, each adult bull tries to gather up as many cows as he can to form his “harem.” Sea lion harems, or family groups, can number up to 15 cows and their young. The bull watches over his harem, protecting it from harm. But don’t think the harem has the place all to itself—popular resting spots can support dozens of harems. A large group of sea lions gathered together on land or floating ice is called a colony. During the birthing season these areas are known as rookeries.
The exception to this breeding behavior is the Australian sea lion bull; he does not stake out a territory or form a harem. Instead, the bulls fight for any available female.
Never timid about speaking what’s on their minds, sea lions make all sorts of barks, honks, trumpets, and roars. A baby sea lion, called a pup, can pick out its mother from among hundreds gathered on rocky shores just by the sound she makes. Between the bulls roaring, the mothers barking, and the pups bleating, the rookery is a noisy place indeed!
Female sea lions usually give birth to a single pup per year. Pups are born with their eyes open and their tummies ready for their mother’s rich milk. The milk is high in fat, and this helps the pup grow that important layer of blubber to keep warm. Pups are born with a long, dense coat of hair called the lanugo that helps keep them warm until they develop that blubber. Mothers are very attentive to their pup during the first two to four days of life, nuzzling them and picking them up by the scruff of the neck. The pups are capable of awkward swimming at birth, but can walk at just 30 minutes old!
Discover with a wild things Rome uncaged sea lions are larger than fur seals reaching over six feet in length and about 300 pounds in the water sea lions are frisky and playful they love to body surf the waves and play in the water games like catch that stick or toss that Louis they are very graceful Swift swimmers or pissing in and out of the.
Water and doing underwater somersaults as they hold their breath looks like they choreographed this fancy dance with a local school of fish but when it's dinner time everyone better watch out wow that octopus got a raw deal and this eel went down headfirst that was quite a mouthful on land they hang out in colonies and just napped the dominant.
Male is called a bull and the females are called cows hey move over you too big cows make some room for me baby sea lions are called pups and yes they can bark pups are very close to their mothers nursing for up to six months hey mom got milk mom sea lions find plenty to feed on in.
These waters including squid octopus and fish that's quite a catch oh boy I shouldn't have eaten that whole fish by myself now I really have a bellyache better get back to sunbathing
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