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California Sea Lion

ZALOPHUS CALIFORNIANUS

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Zalophus californianus
Class: Mammal
Length: Males: 7 feet; Females: 6 feet
Weight: Males: 500 lbs; Females: 220 lbs
Life span: 20.8 years
Gestation: 8 to 11 months
Number of offspring: 1 young
Size at birth: 2 to 3 feet; 13 to 20 lbs
Age of maturity: 4 to 5 years
Conservation status: Not endangered, Protected by US Government

About

West Coast Livin’

California sea lions are found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Baja California in Mexico. Sea lions are air breathing mammals. They spend most of their time in the water and come ashore to breed. California sea lions are social and like to be in packs.


Just like a seal? Not quite…

Unlike seals, sea lions have hind flippers that point forward and can be used on land. Also, they have ears that are on the outside of their head. Male California sea lions are usually a chocolate brown color, while the females are a lighter brown.


Smarty pants

Sea lions are known for their intelligence, which is approximately equal to that of a dog. They even have a loud and noisy bark. The zoo’s sea lions show off their skills at 11 AM and 3 PM daily during their feeding demonstration.


Fast flippers!

When sea lions are swimming, they often jump out of the water to gain speed and swim faster.


What do wild sea lions eat?

  • Fish
  • Squid
  • Shellfish

 

Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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