California Sea Lion

Scientific Name:
Zalophus californianus

Feeding Type:
Carnivora

Range:
West coast and offshore islands of North America, British Columbia, Japan, Galapagos Islands

Habitat:
Rocks and beaches near water

Diet in the Wild:
Fish, cephalopods, crustaceans, other marine animals

Diet at the Zoo:
Fish, squid

Longevity:
Up to 25 years

Description:
Males are much larger than females and they measure between 5 and 8 feet long. They can weigh about 600 pounds. These mammals are stocky and have thick bodies. Its fur is sleek, close-set and usually gray in color. Each limb has 5 toes and its front limbs are used to prop itself up and hop around on land. Long visible whiskers protrude from the side of its nose. They also have small earflaps.

Adaptation/Behavior:
These sea lions are social animals and will bask and sleep in large groups. They hunt at night and are strong, skillful swimmers and divers. They can stay under water for up to 20 minutes. Communication includes sharp barks and honks. They have carnivore teeth for grabbing prey rather than chewing.

Courtship/Breeding:
Breeding season is in early June. Bulls usually keep a harem of 5 – 10 cows during breeding season. Gestation period is approximately 1 year. Females reach maturity at 3 years, and males at 5 years

Conservation:
California sea lions are at lower risk