Sea lion

Species Profile

Name: sea lions are large mammals belonging to the Otariidae family – which are collectively known as the eared seals. This family is made up of six species of sea lion: Steller, Australian, South American, New Zealand, California, and the Galapagos sea lion. The family also includes the closely related northern and southern fur seals.

Appearance: sea lions are characterised by having external ears; long front flippers; the ability to walk on all fours; short, thick fur; and a big chest and belly.

Size: male sea lions typically weigh around 300 kg and reach 2.4 metres long, while the females weigh around 100 kg and reach 1.8 metres. The largest sea lion is the Steller sea lion, which can weigh up to 1,000 kg and grow to 3.0 metres.

Diet: sea lions are carnivores, mostly feeding on fish.

Did you know: there was a seventh species of sea lion – the Japanese sea lion – which became extinct in 1970. In total, Japanese trawlers harvested as many as 16,500 sea lions, enough to cause their extinction.

Location: their range extends from the subarctic to tropical waters in the northern and southern hemispheres, with the exception of the northern Atlantic ocean.

Best places to see sea lions

According to reports submitted to WildSide, the best places to see sea lions are as follows:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Galapagos Islands
Ecuador
100%
very high
4.8
very good
3
reports
Arica
Chile
100%
very high
4.0
very good
1
reports
Ballestas Islands
Peru
100%
very high
2.0
average
1
reports
Valdes Peninsula
Argentina
50%
average
4.5
very good
2
reports