California Sea Lion

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California Sea Lion
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Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Otariidae
Subfamily:Otariinae
Genus:Zalophus
Species:californianus
Binomial name
Zalophus californianus
(Lesson, 1828)

The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus californianus) is a coastal sea lion of the eastern Pacific often associated with marinas and wharves. Males grow to 340 kg (750 pounds) and 2.4 m (8 feet) long, females are generally no larger than 100 kg (220 pounds) and 2m (6.5 feet) long. The whiskers help the seal's sense of touch. Males grow a large crest of bone on the top of their heads as they reach sexual maturity, and it is this that gives the animal its generic name (loph is "forehead" and za- is an emphatic; Zalophus californianus means "Californian Big-head").

California Sea Lions feed on a wide varritey of seafood including fish, shellfish and squid. They are excellent predetors with a streamlined body and highly sensitive whiskers to detect food. California Sea Lions are highly sociable and gather in large numbers on beaches and coasts.

California Sea Lions are intelligent and adaptable, and are often trained as entertainers at ocean parks and zoos as well as by researchers studying interspecies cooperation in the marine environment.

There are three subspecies: Zalophus californianus californianus is the nominate race, the others are the Galapagos Sea Lion (Z. c. wollenbacki) and the Japanese Sea Lion (Z. c. japonicus) which is now believed to be extinct.

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Sea_lions_pier_39.jpg
Sea lions on platforms near Pier 39 in San Francisco, California
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Pier39MpegMan.jpg
Another picture of Sea Lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco, Califonia
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Sealion.jpeg
Sea lions in Newport, Oregon
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