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Fun Facts: Sea Lions

Whether floating together on the ocean’s surface, jumping out of the water like porpoises or “surfing” the breaking waves, sea lions know how to have fun. These lovable animals are one of the many species that Morris Animal Foundation is working to help. Here are a few fun facts about these marine mammals.

California sea lions

  • Are the fastest of the seals and sea lions, reaching speeds up to 25 mph.
  • Are known for their intelligence, playfulness and noisy barking.
  • Can grow to 850 pounds for males and 220 pounds for females.
  • Develop a bony bump on top of their skulls at about age 5 (males only).
  • Have external ear flaps and large flippers that they use to “walk.”
  • Live anywhere from the southern tip of Baja California up to Vancouver Island, British Columbia
  • Are born in June or July, and mothers and pups learn to recognize each other through smell and vocalizations.
  • Live about 30 years in the wild.
  • Are carnivores, feeding on squid, octopus, herring, rockfish, mackerel and small sharks.
  • Can hunt continuously for up to 30 hours and can slow their heart rates, which lets them to stay underwater for nearly 10 minutes at a time. 

California sea lions, particularly the pups, have suffered from sudden deaths this year. The Foundation recently released funding to researchers at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in California to help them find out why the die-offs are happening.

Check out our “Help Save Baby Sea Lions” campaign at and help spread the word. 

Categories: Animal health, Veterinary research , Wildlife health
July 16, 2013