Japanese Sea Lion

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Japanese Sea Lion
Conservation status: Extinct (1950s)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Otariidae
Subfamily:Otariinae
Genus:Zalophus
Species:Z. japonicus
Binomial name
Zalophus japonicus
(Peters, 1866)

The Japanese Sea Lion (Zalophus japonicus or Zalophus californianus japonicus) is thought to have gone extinct in the 1950s. Little is know about them. They were found in marine and coastal areas in the Sea of Japan. They breed in flat, open and sandy beaches and sometimes in rocky areas.

They went extinct because they were captured for the circus trade, their skin was used for oil, internal organs were valuable to use for oriental medicine, and their whiskers were used as pipe cleaners. Fishermen killed many, and during World War II it is said that Japanese soldiers used them as target practice.

Many taxonomists don't consider the Japanese Sea Lion a separated species but a subspecies of the California Sea Lion.

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