17 Types of Sea Lions – Characteristics
Sea lion is one of the marine mammal that looks cute but actually pretty much aggressive. In general, their life span is up to 30 years and they also like to dive for a long time. Some species of them have the ability to dive until the depth of 1000 m beneath the sea. What people don’t know about sea lion is that sea lion has so many species and based on their taxonomy they are divided into four groups.
Then, the first one is sea lion, the second one is true seal, the third one is fur seal, and the fourth one is walrus. All of them are still classified as sea lion with a different detail of their own species. And today I’d like to tell you about some of the sea lion species.
See also: Endangered Sea Lions
1. Californian Sea Lion
Californian sea lion is native to North America and you can find it starts from the southest Alaska until central Mexico . This species of sea lion loves to stay in the sandy and rocky beaches. It feeds on fish, clams, and squid and their main predator is orca or the killer whale and white shark.
See also: Largest Clams in the World
2. Galapagos Sea Lion
Just like its name, this species of sea lion is native to Galapagos Island. Even though mostly this sea lion is found in Galapagos but there is a small number of them in the Isla de la Plata Ecuador. Compare to another species of sea lion, Galapagos Sea Lion has the smallest size. Their length is between 1.5 m to 2.5 m and their weight can reach the number of 250 kg.
3. Australian Sea Lion
Australian sea lion is endemic or native to Australia for sure. Their distribution mostly take place in the western Australia and southern Australia. It feeds on fish, squid, cuttlefish, octopus, sharks, rock lobster, other small crustaceans and penguins which are more diverse compare to Californian sea lion diet.
4. New Zealand Sea Lion
Next up for the types of sea lion we have New Zealand sea lion. New Zealand sea lion has another name that is known by people as Hooker’s sea lion. If Galapagos sea lion is the smallest sea lion in size, then New Zealand sea lion is the smallest number in population compare to another species of sea lion. This species of sea lion feeds on fish, cephalopods, seabirds, crustacean, and many more.
See also: Endangered Animals in The Ocean
5. South American Sea Lion
For this species of sea lion, people also called it as southern sea lion and or the Patagonian sea lion. Its size can reach the number of 2.73 m in length with male bigger than female.
Just like any other sea lion, South American sea lion also feeds on fish, cephalopods, squid, and etc. But the further observation showed that it also feeds on South American fur seal, penguin, and pelicans.
6. Japanese Sea Lion
The distribution of Japanese sea lion is along the coastline of Northwest Pacific Ocean mostly in Japan and Korea. Male Japanese sea lion is bigger compare to the female. What makes Japanese sea lion unique is that they love to stay and spend their time in the cave rather than spending their time in the land or water where most of the sea lion loves to spend their time there.
See also: Endangered Species in the Ocean Biome
7. Stellers Sea Lion
The habitat of Stellers sea lion is in the Northern Pacific, that is why people also known Stellers sea lion as northern sea lion. For the adult Stellers sea lion, they usually have a lighter color of their body compare to another sea lion. About the size range, mostly their length is about 3 m with their weight that can reach the number of 1120 kg.
8. Antartic Fur Seal
Just like its name, you can find this species of fur seal in the Antartic. About 95% of their total population live in the Island of South Georgia because they breed and also stay in there. About their life span, Antartic fur seal can live up to 25 years with female life longer than male.
9. Guadalupe Fur Seal
Guadalupe is an island in the Mexico where this species of fur seal was found. About their life span, they can live up to 20 years long with their body size can reach its length up to 2 m long. They feed on fish, squid, and any other water animal just like the diet of sea lion in general. And they do also have the ability to dive up to 20 m beneath the sea.
10. Juan Fernández fur seal
After Galapagos sea lion there is Juan Fernández fur seal that has the second position as the smallest sea lion. Their body size only can reach the number of 2.1 m in length and their weight that can reach the number of 159 kg with males bigger than females. You can also find this species of fur seal in some small island off the coast of Chile.
11. Brown Fur Seal
Brown fur seal is also known as Cape fur seal because they came from South Africa. This brown fur seal become the largest fur seal because their body size can reach the number of 2.3 m in length and 300 kg in weight. About their diet, their diet is basically the same such as fish and squid, but then they also eat a small number of crabs. What is unique from this brown fur seal is that it can dive up to 204 m depth by holding its breath up to 7.5 minutes.
12. Northern Fur Seal
Northern fur seal is also known as eared seal. They can be found in the Bering Sea in north Pacific Ocean. About their size their body can reach the number of 2.1 m in length and 270 kg in weight. This species of northern fur seal can dive up to 207 m beneath the sea. And you can find this species of fur seal in some areas in the Pacific Ocean.
13. Mediterranean Monk Seal
Aegean Sea is the place where most of the Mediterranean monk sea lives. Their body size can reach the number of 2.4 m in length and their weight that can reach the number of 240 kg. This species of monk seal also prefer to choose caves than land to breed. And about their diet, their diet is basically the same because they also feed on fish and mollusks.
See also: Endangered Species of the Ocean
14. Caribbean Monk Seal
Sadly, this species of monk seal is already extinct. Their size can reach the number of 2.4 m in length and 270 kg for their weight. The habitat of Caribbean monk seal is basically in the Caribbean Sea and also in the western Atlantic Ocean.
15. Northern Elephant Seal
Northern elephant seal can grow and reach its body size up to 4 m in length and 2300 kg in weight. It can swim with the velocity up to 8 km/h and dive for 3 minutes up to the depth of 1000 m. You can find this species of elephant seal in the eastern part of Pacific Ocean. It feeds on squid, crustaceans, shark, ray and ratfish.
16. Southern Elephant Seal
This species of elephant seal is bigger compare to the Northern elephant seal. Southern elephant seal can grow and reach its body length up to 5.8 m with 4000 kg of weight. It also can swim with the velocity of 8 km/h and dive up to 1000 m of depth by holding their breath for 20 minutes long. Basically, it feeds on fish, krill, cephalopods, algae, crustaceans, and mollusks.
See also: List of Marine Invertebrates
17. Spotted Seal
Next up we have spotted seal in the list of types of sea lions. People nowadays also known this species of seal as larga seal and or largha seal. The distribution of spotted seal takes place in the Pacific Ocean. About their size, their body size can reach the nuer of 2.1 m in length and 109 kg of weight. The biggest population of this spotted seal is in the Bering Sea, but you do also can find it in the Sea of Japan.
See also: Producers in Ocean Ecosystems
That’s all for today article of 17 types of sea lion. Thank you for reading this article until the end and still stay being our loyal website reader. Hopefully this article help you to know about the species of sea lion and also make you aware about our environment. We wil have another interesting article to come just for you.