By Blane Perun
Rate: (24 Ratings)
The sea lion includes many different units and not just one as is commonly believed. The sea lion is actually one of seven different species. These different species are within six genera of today’s pinnipeds. There is even an extinct one, which is the Japanese sea lion. A sea lion is known for its external ear flaps, also known as ear pinnae, their ability to walk on land on four flippers, and their especially long front flippers.
The sea lion is found in the world’s oceans except for the Atlantic Ocean. It is found in both northern and southern hemispheres. Where the sea lion is found there will also be shallow water and plenty of food. The sea lion is part of the Otariidae family, along with the fur seal. Together, the sea lion and fur seal are known as eared seals. The sea lion was grouped in the subfamily Otariinae for quite some time to show their differences from the fur seal. However, it has been determined this is unnecessary and the sea lion and fur seal actually do have a great deal in common. When it comes to the sea lion, there is much in common with other sea lions including the larger bodies, short, coarse fur, and bigger prey.
Although there is a wide sea lion selection, some are different from others. For example, you will find one species of sea lion capable of being trained to do tricks and perform at zoos and aquariums. Then, there are circus shows where a sea lion catches a ball on its nose, throws it, and claps. Many believe these are seals, but in most cases, a sea lion performs these tasks.
The sea lion is very smart and the US Navy’s Marine Mammal Program actually has a sea lion training program. This is vastly different from the governments in both Japan and Norway where sea lion kills are advocated and quotas set so the sea lion does not affect local fisheries.
It is incredibly rare to hear of a sea lion attacking a human. Although there have been cases where a sea lion was accused of an attack, most scientists believe the sea lion was trying to play and it was misinterpreted as an attack.
Interestingly enough, the sea lion was worshipped by the Moche people of Peru. It is very common to see a sea lion in work and art from this era.
Most sea lions live in the water and are mammals. This means they are warm-blooded ad they create milk for their babies. The sea lion has whiskers, smooth skin, and is shaped like torpedoes so it can really swim through the water. They have some blubber and fur, but in general appear to be very smooth animals. Although the sea lion can live in the water exclusively, they are also capable of living on land for long periods.