Steller Sea Lions

There are 7 species of sea lions in the world, although people tend to lump them into one category. Two of these live in the waters surrounding Vancouver Island – the Steller sea lion and the California sea lion. They are very interesting animals, that can grow to extremely large sizes, males being much bigger than females.

While sea lions are found in most oceans of the world, they are not in the Atlantic Ocean. Many researchers find this to be a very interesting fact, although they can’t quite pinpoint the reasons. Temperatures there are compatible with sea lions, and there is plenty of food to consume there.

Some species of sea lions live in the subarctic areas, while others live in warmer climates, including California. They have long, torpedo-shaped bodies, that are well-designed for movement, both in water and on land. All species of sea lions are considered to be mammals, seeing that they give birth to their young, and females nurse pups with milk they produce in their bodies.

Sea lions really only have 2 predators, which are other animals: killer whales and sharks. The threat that they pose, depends on the areas sea lions inhabit. Where they need to go further out into the waters to find food, they are more likely to encounter these predators.

Steller Sea Lions, Vancouver Island, BC
Steller Sea Lions, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

We know only the basics about these sea lions, including their anatomy and mating habits. We do know that they are very social animals and that they have a variety of means of communicating. We don’t know what those different types of sounds are used for, though.

They are often found in exceptionally large colonies. For their protection, they will stay very close together, both on land and in water. These big groups also have many subgroups within them. It is common for sea lions to move from one subgroup to another, during various stages of their lives.

Sea lions are considered to be highly intelligent animals. They have been trained to help the United States Navy with their nautical needs. For the most part, they are considered quite timid, but there have been some reports of hostile attacks on humans. Males are extremely aggressive when it comes to earning the right to mate with females.

The future is somewhat uncertain for many species of sea lions. Years of destruction by humans has taken a significant toll, and environmental concerns continue to plague their natural habitats, as well.

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