Californian Sea Lion

Zalophus californianus

The California Sea Lion lives in the northern Pacific Ocean, where its population is quite abundant. These sea lions like to breed on sandy beaches, and they usually stay no more than 10 miles out to sea. They feed on squid, octopus, herring, rockfish, mackerel, and small sharks.

California sea lions are very social. They often rest in groups at land, or float together on the surface of the ocean. They have been seen surfing breaking waves.

Californian Sea lion mothers can give birth on land or in water. They feed their pups for six months with their milk, which is very high in fat content, so the babies grow up very fast. California Sea Lions are the only mammals whose milk does not contain lactose.

These intelligent animals are easily trained for circuses, zoos and marine parks, and are used even by the US Navy for some military operations such as detecting underwater mines or equipment recovery.

This Californian sea lion was found sunbathing in the zoo of Indianapolis, Indiana, in August 1999.

Genus Zalophus
Family Otariidae
Superfamily Canoidea
Order Carnivora
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth