Females can reach 220 pounds and about 6 feet in length. Visit one of the rookeries during the winter birthing and breeding season for an amazing nature experience. The occasional sightings at Point Lobos might include a recently weaned pup who hasnât learned to successfully forage and is suffering from malnutrition. When discussing the difference between the seal vs. sea lion we can find five main differences that have to do with their anatomy and character traits. Sand flipping is another clue. 866.338.7227 | 80 Garden Court #106 Monterey, CA 93940 Site is maintained by the Point Lobos Foundation Â©2018 Site designed by Forest Design LLC. Let’s sort out the taxonomy first. They have no external ear flaps, just ear holes. They can also sleep while in water. Due to this decline, Steller sea lions are now listed as a federally threatened species. 95531. But seals and sea lions are in different taxonomical families owing to some key anatomical differences. Usually there's only one subadult animal at a time hauled out on a sandy beach undergoing its annual molt. Adult males are enormous – at least six times larger than polar bears and nearly twice the size of the next largest seal (the northern elephant seal). Both have ear flaps and both are noisy, although an experienced listener can distinguish between the two âlanguages.â Searching from Sea Lion Point for a Steller requires binoculars in order to see the distinction between the two species. In and around RNSP, there are two seal species to be found, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirotris). Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. An elephant seal flips sand on itself to help regulate body temperature. The group of marine mammals consisting of seals, sea lions, and walruses is known as the Pinnipeds, (from "pinna" meaning "feather" + "pes" meaning "foot" = "feather-footed"). Source: Sea Lion Eating a Leopard Shark, SD Expeditions. The average length is 5 - 6 feet. Subadults might also haul out on our beaches to rest. In seals, the hind flippers extend directly behind the body, and are not capable of rotation unlike the hind flippers of sea lions that are longer and may be rotated toward the front of the body. Elephant Seals. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. The average dive lasts less than 10 minutes and is relatively shallow, less than 300 feet. There is a small rookery on Ano Nuevo Island, located offshore from Ano Nuevo State Park (about a 2 hour drive north of Point Lobos). Small intestine lengths range from 8 times (California sea lion) to 25 times (elephant seal) the body length. The seal gets its name from its great size and the large proboscis of the adult males, which is used to make extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating season. Stellers are much larger and lighter in color than California sea lions, ranging from light tan to reddish brown. Elephant seals spend up to 80% of their lives in the ocean. Their large eyes and sensitive whiskers help locate prey. Males can grow to 11 feet in length and weigh almost 2,500 pounds. Hauling out to rest and sleep is an important part of a sealâs routine. Adult males establish and defend breeding territories and form harems. Sea lions are very social animals. Video by NOAA Fisheries. Adult males are significantly larger than females. The length of the intestine may be an adaptation to frequent deep diving, as the increased volume of the digestive tract serves as an extended storage compartment for … They can rotate under the sea lion's body and support it, enabling the sea lion to "walk" with the flippers on land. They are day-sleepers, frequently misunderstood as lazy if you don't realize they are nocturnal hunters. Docents and the information they share will enrich your viewing experience. Unfortunately seals canât out-swim their only predators - sharks and orcas. Leopard seals are the third largest seal in the world Female leopard seals, the larger of the two sexes, can grow up to 590 kg (1,300 pounds) and 3.8m meters (10 feet) long. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest species of seal in the world. They can hold their breath for more than 100 minutes – longer than any other noncetaceanmammal. Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. Mike Baird . Fur seals and sea lions are also known as eared seals. There are other, somewhat subtle, differences between the front flippers of the two groups, but the hind flipper differences are noticeable. Besides, when swimming, the seal mainly uses the hind flippers as thrusters; the sea lion swims with its front fins, with hind flippers acting as rudders. Elephant seals dive deep in search of food. It's even possible that a seal might to try to reproduce with a sea lion. Since the 1960's, the population of Steller sea lions has declined by at least 50%. Their solid color coats range from dark to golden brown. When seals and sea lions share our shores, we need to give them space, especially mothers with pups. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is an occasional visitor to Point Lobos. When watching seals itâs important to avoid loud noises and to maintain a distance that does not disturb them. Bulls grow up to 20ft and weigh up to four tons, and use their bulk to batter rivals in mating contests. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". Elephant seals get their name because the males - called bulls - have a huge trunk-like proboscis. In and around Redwood National and State Parks, the most commonly seen eared seal is the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Males remain there for about one month and then return to California and as far north as British Columbia. The quiet behavior and camouflage coloration can make them easy to miss. What Are the Differences Between Seals and Sea Lions? Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) were once abundant and commonly seen at Point Lobos as recently as the 1950âs. Within this super family, the three are divided into three families: the otaridos (sea lions), the phocidae (seals) and the Odobenidae (walruses). This causes differences between the two in locomotion when on land: seals move forward by caterpillar-like hitching movements; sea lions use their hind legs to walk or even gallop across land. All together the Sea Lion Island population seems to be pretty healthy. This behavior is called âporpoising.â They are fast swimmers (reaching up to 25 mph), using the front flippers for propulsion and the hind flippers to steer. The southern elephant seal is a true seal and is the largest pinniped (seal or sea lion) and carnivoran (hairy carnivore) in the world. Seals also are suited to spend more time in the water than sea lions, which can "walk" on shore with their large flippers and spend time in large social groups. Sea Lion Island is the most southerly inhabited island in the Falkland archipelago at 52.43 south and 59.1 west. Despite the similarities of outward appearance, true seals and sea lions have some noticeable differences, due to convergent evolution. They can eat all kinds of large prey - including tuna, rays, other sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters and birds. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. The "seals" you may see performing at marine parks are often sea lions. Memorize the color and design of spots, unique to each seal, and you might even be able to find a familiar face! 1111 Second Street When not congregating together to rest, they can be seen swimming past the shoreline, sometimes jumping out of the water as they move along. Males can reach 650 pounds and 8 feet in length. First thing's first: To see the elephant seals at San Simeon, you have to know just where to go. If you see just the nose of a seal sticking above the water, itâs in a resting position called âbottling.â While on land they are skittish and frighten easily. They can live up to 20 years (males) and up to 30 years (females). Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are the quiet marine mammals resting on near shore rocks along the Point Lobos shoreline. Adult males leave our central coast in early summer headed for the Channel Islands in southern California or for Mexico. A typical dive for the sea lion is a few minutes long and down to 300 feet. They are dark grey immediately after moulting, fading through the year to a rusty greyish brown. The noisy, barking California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is the most conspicuous marine mammal at Point Lobos. China Cove beach is closed during pupping season but the trail above offers a birdâs-eye view. Getting There. Two species inhabit the sanctuary, the elephant seal and harbor seal. Under the EPBC Act all seals and sea lions occurring within Australian waters are listed as marine species (EPBC Act 1999; section 248). Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. Then itâs time to start the cycle again. Both have long front flippers and rotating hind flippers enabling them to âwalkâ on land. See more ideas about elephant seal, elephant, sea lion. Gestation can be preceded by up to 3 months of delayed implantation. significant source of mortality in seals and sea lions. They can be heard from most locations in the reserve. A pair of binoculars will enhance the viewing experience. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. Mating season is June through August. Males 5 years and older develop a bony bump on top of their skull called a sagittal crest. They are graceful, curious and speedy swimmers, propelled by the webbed hind flipper. We obtained evidences of exposure to Leptospiravarious strains, increasing with age, but, contrary to what we found in the northern elephant seal, we found noevidence of curren t acute infection. Elephant seals dive to 1,550 m (5,090 ft) beneath the ocean's surface (the deepest recorded dive of an elephant seal is 2,388 m (7,835 ft) by a southern elephant seal, while the record for the northern elephant seal is 1,735 m (5,692 ft)). Whether obvious or hidden, physical attributes allow northern elephant seals to excel in the deep marine environment and to coexist with other seals and sea lions in the eastern North Pacific. When first noticed, the flipper might be confused with the dorsal (back) fin of a whale or shark. The adult male, with its large elongated nose, is enormous at over 2 tons and up to 16 feet; females are significantly smaller. Pinnipeds divide their time between near shore terrestrial habitats and the ocean. elephant seal (top) and harbor seal. Quiet and shy, harbor Elephant seals are characterized by extraordinary behavior. The sea lions at Point Lobos are mostly adult males and juveniles of both sexes. It is an offence to kill, injure, take, trade, keep, or move any member of a listed marine species on Australian Government land or in Commonwealth waters without a permit.Where these animals occur in state jurisdictions relevant state legislation applies. Harbor seals come in a variety of colors from almost pure white to mottled gray or brown, but usually some form of color patterning is visible. Breeding age females remain near the rookeries all year and give birth in June or July. When did YOU fall in love with Point Lobos. In the not too distant past, elephant seals were highly endangered. Grey seals leopard seals elephant seals harp seals and ringed seals are among the 19 species of true seals. The population of California sea lions is considered stable. This is the southernmost breeding area for the species. Swim with their front flippers. Respectful observation of seals is especially important during the pupping season. Look for the blue jackets to find a docent. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. You will be amazed to see this large animal on top of the highest points. Harbor seals are quite common and may be seen lounging on flat-topped near shore rocks, or hauled out sandy beaches, primarily around the Redwood Creek estuary. The flipper is raised to help warm or cool the body - called thermoregulation. They often float together on the waterâs surface in rafts with one or both flippers raised out of the water. The Friends of the Elephant Seal are available to answer questions at the viewing areas from 10am to 4pm daily. Sea otters are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws and rest by floating on their back. They now number approximately 85,000. After weaning, the previously devoted mom leaves the pup on its own. The most notable anatomical differences are the ears and the flippers. These animals may be seen hauled out on off shore rocks, and occasionally on sandy beaches. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. For a comparison of some of the most common marine mammals found in the Pacific Northwest (gray whales and orcas, harbor seals and sea lions, Dalls porpoise and white-sided dolphin, sea otters and land mammal river otters), please watch Marine Mammals Two by Two . Fall and winter is the most likely time for this occasional visitor to appear mixed in among the California sea lions on the Sea Lion Rocks. Sea lions also hunt together. But seals and sea lions belong to … Although still nursing, the females are ready to mate within 4 weeks of giving birth. Sea lions can be seen year round although their numbers are less in summer. It breeds on subantarctic islands and is the largest of all pinnipeds, with males reaching 2-4 t and females almost 1 t. An adult male’s blubber can be 10 cm thick and in commercial sealing days one individual could yield up to 400 L of oil. Cetaceans (dolphins, porpoise and whales), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and sea otters call the Pacific Northwest home. Look closely at their head and you will notice small ear flaps and long dog-like noses. At nighttime they hunt within several miles of shore for fish, crabs, squid and octopus. Pups are nursed on momâs rich milk and double their weight before weaning at approximately 4 weeks. They stay with the newborn pup and nurse for at least 5 or 6 months, sometimes up to one year. The California Sea Lion as pictured […] There may be a small breeding colony of Stellers using near shore rocks in RNSP. Seals and sea lions are marine mammals called pinnipeds that differ in physical characteristics and adaptations. This causes differences between the two in locomotion when on land: seals move forward by caterpillar-like hitching movements; sea lions use their hind legs to walk or even gallop across land. New Zealand examples include the leopard seal and southern elephant seal. One must travel somewhere else along the California coast to see a spectacular adult male elephant seal, with its long proboscis, or nose, for which the species is named. Gestation is about 9 months and can be preceded by a 3-month delayed implantation period. And in general, true seals have more blubber and are more streamlined. The Phocidae, or family group to which the true seals belong, are believed to have descended from a terrestrial weasel-like ancestor, while the Otariidae, or sea lion family group, are thought to have descended from a terrestrial bear-like ancestor. Harbor Seals Southern Sea Otters . Seals and sea lions are both mammals. Longer and deeper dives are possible. Harbor seals donât migrate far from home. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. 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