Thursday, September 27, 2012

California Sea Lion

 
Life of Sea | California Sea Lion | California sea lion is a coastal-eared seal native to western North America. It is one of the five species of sea lion. California sea lions are found from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. They breed mainly on offshore islands, ranging from southern California's Channel Islands south to Mexico, although a few pups were born on Año Nuevo and the Farallon Islands in central California. There is a distinct population of California sea lions in the Galapagos Islands. During the breeding season, sea lions gather on both sandy and rocky shores. On hot days they lie closer to the water. At night or in cold weather, they travel further inland or to higher ground. 

 
Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Carnivora
Suborder:     Pinnipedia
Family:     Otariidae
Subfamily:     Otariinae
Genus:     Zalophus, Gill, 1866
Species:     Z. californianus

Because sexually dimorphic, California sea lions vary in size, shape and color between the sexes. emales and young people have a tawny brown fur, although they temporarily light gray or silver after moulting. The coat of the adult males can be anywhere from light brown to black, but is usually dark brown. The face of the adult males can also light brown in some areas. Pups have a black or dark brown fur at birth. Although the species has a slender build, adult males have robust neck, chest and shoulders. California sea lion trusts his foreflippers to propel themselves while swimming. Sea lions have color vision, but it is limited to the blue-green region of the spectrum. This is probably an adaptation to life in marine coastal habitats. 

 
California sea lions feed on a wide variety of seafood, mainly squid and fish, and sometimes mussels. Commonly eaten fish and squid species are salmon, hake, Pacific whiting, anchovy, herring, redfish, lamprey, dogfish, and market squid. They usually forage in nearby mainland coast, the continental shelf, and sea mounts. They can also search along the ocean floor. California sea lions can eat alone or in small to large groups, depending on the amount of food available. Sometimes together with other predators such as dolphins, porpoises and seabirds when hunting large schools of fish. Sea lions sometimes follow dolphins and utilize their hunting efforts.Sea lions preyed on by killer whales and large sharks. 

 
California sea lions breed gregariously between May and August, when they arrive at their breeding colonies. In determining an area, the males try their chances to reproduce increasing by staying in the colony for as long as possible. Before mating begins, females gather in "milling" groups of 2-20 persons. The females of these groups, each other and the males. These groups will disintegrate as females begin to mate. California sea lions interact with a variety of sounds. Most people used their distinctive bark. Territorial males are the loudest and most continuous callers, and barks constantly produced - day and night - during the peak of the breeding season. Sea lions barking especially quickly when aroused. The suspension of territorial and non-territorial males sound the same, but those of the former deeper. 

 
California sea lions interact with a variety of sounds. Most people used their distinctive bark. Territorial males are the loudest and most continuous callers, and barks constantly produced - day and night - during the peak of the breeding season. Sea lions barking especially quickly when aroused. The suspension of territorial and non-territorial males sound the same, but those of the former deeper. Sea lions are very intelligent and can be trained to different tasks. Because of this, California sea lions are often found in public displays in zoos, circuses and oceanariums, where they are known as the classic "seals" and are trained by the U.S. Navy for certain military operations.

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