Surprising Sea Lions

For this feature we wanted to focus on sea lions.  There are lots of interesting facts about sea lions … they are amazing creatures.

It seems incredible that sea lions are found in all climates in both the northern and southern hemispheres and in every ocean … except the Atlantic Ocean.  Sea lions are often seen gathering together in larger harbours around the world where they bask in the sun.

I was amazed the first time I saw a sea lion.  It was in San Francisco at Pier 39.  There was a large group of sea lions all sitting on the outposts of the pier.  It was a phenomenal sight.  I was astounded that they came so close to the city … it was an experience that has stayed with me for many years.

Here are some interesting sea lion facts:

  • Sea lions belong to the group of mammals called Pinnipedia. This means “wing foot” in Latin.
  • They live on both land and in water as amphibious animals. Interestingly they can even sleep in the water.
  • They can swim at speeds of up to 24 miles per hour but on land they are also faster than you might think as they use their flippers to walk.
  • They can stay submerged for 10-15 minutes at a time giving them plenty of time to hunt the fish they feed on.
  • The sea lion’s teeth may be fairly small but they are very sharp and as they have between 34 and 38 teeth you don’t want to get anywhere near them!
  • Sea lions have a coat of course outer hairs. These are called Guard Hairs which appear brown when dry and help to keep the sea lion warm.  When wet, the fur flattens to give a sleek dark coloured coat.
  • The sea lion uses its powerful front flippers to swim and uses its back flippers as stabilisers. They can dive to depths of approximately 1,000 feet!
  • Sea lions are big beasts … an adult male can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and reach up to 10 feet in length.

Why not have a look at our collection of water based creatures … including our sea lion string doll keyring?  Click here to see them.

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