Large groups rest closely packed together on land, even sprawled over one another. Quiet and shy, harbor Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. Harbor seals . Oddly enough fur seals are not seals at all. Nowadays, sighting a Steller is noteworthy. When seals and sea lions share our shores, we need to give them space, especially mothers with pups. They are graceful, curious and speedy swimmers, propelled by the webbed hind flipper. They spend 80% of their life at sea foraging, only coming ashore to molt (shed hair and skin) and to mate for adults, or to rest for subadults. Pinnipeds divide their time between near shore terrestrial habitats and the ocean. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. They spend about half their time on land and half in water. China Cove beach is closed during pupping season but the trail above offers a bird’s-eye view. After weaning, the previously devoted mom leaves the pup on its own. Jul 9, 2014 - Explore Hanna Shirley's board "Elephant seal" on Pinterest. Their large eyes and sensitive whiskers help locate prey. Crescent City, CA Males remain there for about one month and then return to California and as far north as British Columbia. 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. Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. There may be a small breeding colony of Stellers using near shore rocks in RNSP. 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. May congregate in larger groups than true seals. Quiet and shy, harbor seals can be seen year-round resting on rocks just offshore. These destinations are the breeding grounds. The two species might be confused with one another because they share many physical characteristics. Bulls grow up to 20ft and weigh up to four tons, and use their bulk to batter rivals in mating contests. Steller males are massive, the largest of the eared seals, weighing in at 1,200 lbs (0.5 metric ton) or greater. They have a blunt face and a boxy, bear-like head. Female seals mature at 3-4 years. 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. Sea Lion Point Trail offers a direct view to the Sea Lion Rocks offshore. Usually there's only one subadult animal at a time hauled out on a sandy beach undergoing its annual molt. 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 . These animals may be seen hauled out on off shore rocks, and occasionally on sandy beaches. The Friends of the Elephant Seal are available to answer questions at the viewing areas from 10am to 4pm daily. The "seals" you may see performing at marine parks are often sea lions. In and around Redwood National and State Parks, the most commonly seen eared seal is the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). 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 really a type of sea lion. But seals and sea lions belong to … Sea lions and fur seals (seals with thick fur that are more similar to sea lions than to … Elephant seals, on the other hand, are uniformly tan colored all over, and seen only rarely within the parks. 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 … Fatalities can also be due to malnutrition, domoic acid poisoning (caused by a harmful algal bloom), cancer, entanglement in fishing debris and even gunshot wounds. Let’s sort out the taxonomy first. Mike Baird . Memorize the color and design of spots, unique to each seal, and you might even be able to find a familiar face! The seals you see today could be the same seals you see on your next visit to Point Lobos. Getting There. Sea lions can live 20-30 years, with females tending to live longer than males. 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. Sand flipping is another clue. The population of California sea lions is considered stable. are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws, and rest by floating on their backs. Males gather near rookeries to compete with other males and attract females by slapping the water with their flippers. They have spotted coats in a variety of shades from white or silver-gray to dark brown. This is why they are more … Both have long front flippers and rotating hind flippers enabling them to “walk” on land. They now number approximately 85,000. You can view this natural wonder in April and May at two primary locations within Point Lobos - Whalers Cove beach and China Cove beach. A pair of binoculars will enhance the viewing experience. Respectful observation of seals is especially important during the pupping season. Fur seals are occasionally seen off the RNSP coastline farther out to sea, however, they do not come ashore here, and breed in the far northern Pacific. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. Despite the similarities of outward appearance, true seals and sea lions have some noticeable differences, due to convergent evolution. 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. The Marine Mammal Center rescues them, nurses them back to health and then releases them to the ocean. Sea lions are very social animals. Sea Otters . Males can reach 650 pounds and 8 feet in length. In and around RNSP, there are two seal species to be found, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirotris). 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. Unlike earless seals, their hind flippers can turn forward, and they are better able to walk, and even run, on their flippers. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. 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. Source: Sea Lion Eating a Leopard Shark, SD Expeditions. 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. Pups weigh about 20 pounds and can swim within minutes of birth. The awkward movement on land is in sharp contrast to their excellent adaptation underwater. Sea Lions . Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. Elephant seals spend up to 80% of their lives in the ocean. Harbor Seals Southern Sea Otters . They can also sleep while in water. Harbor seals are torpedo-shaped and have short flippers. Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family of Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. Less frequently an adult male might visit Point Lobos. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. 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. But this was something different entirely. Gestation is about 9 months and can be preceded by a 3-month delayed implantation period. They are often seen bobbing in the surf, checking out the shoreline. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest species of seal in the world. elephant seal (top) and harbor seal. Sea Lion Island is located 120 km southwest of Stanley and at 9.05km2 it is the largest of the Sea Lion Island Group, which also includes Rum, Brandy, Whiskey and the Sea Lion Easterly Islands. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. The noisy, barking California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is the most conspicuous marine mammal at Point Lobos. When not congregating together to rest, they can be seen swimming past the shoreline, sometimes jumping out of the water as they move along. When comparing a sea lion vs. seal you can spot the difference a few ways, one of which is the lack or presence of an ear. Hauling out to rest and sleep is an important part of a seal’s routine. Mating occurs under water. Unfortunately seals can’t out-swim their only predators - sharks and orcas. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". If you see just the nose of a seal sticking above the water, it’s in a resting position called “bottling.” While on land they are skittish and frighten easily. Adult male Stellers have a bulky build and a very thick neck with longer fur that resembles a lion's mane. Subadults might also haul out on our beaches to rest. Most of the California sea lions in RNSP are adult and subadult males that migrate north after the breeding season in southern California. Also, sea lions are just plain noisy, whereas seals are a bit quieter. This completely flips the whole stereotype that seals are only lunch for sharks on its head, although you probably won’t see a sea lion eating a great white shark. Pups are nursed on mom’s rich milk and double their weight before weaning at approximately 4 weeks. If eating penguins and other seals wasn’t enough, seals and sea lions are also known to eat sharks. Since the 1960's, the population of Steller sea lions has declined by at least 50%. Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. They can be heard from most locations in the reserve. Docents and the information they share will enrich your viewing experience. In addition, sea lions have a loud bark and walk on their large rear flippers versus seals more wriggle on their belly and have smaller rear flippers. They are dark grey immediately after moulting, fading through the year to a rusty greyish brown. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. 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)). Sea lions also hunt together. Instead they flop along on their bellies. Older animals rarely appear at Point Lobos. Swim with their front flippers. Males can grow to 11 feet in length and weigh almost 2,500 pounds. Small intestine lengths range from 8 times (California sea lion) to 25 times (elephant seal) the body length. Harbor seals don’t migrate far from home. Ano Nuevo State Park is about 2 hours north of Point Lobos. See more ideas about elephant seal, elephant, sea lion. Look closely at their head and you will notice small ear flaps and long dog-like noses. They are opportunistic feeders and not very picky, eating a wide variety of fish, squid, octopus and even small sharks. Males reach lengths of nearly 20 feet (6 m) and weights of more than 8000 pounds (3700 kg). Gestation can be preceded by up to 3 months of delayed implantation. Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) were once abundant and commonly seen at  Point Lobos as recently as the 1950’s. Then it’s time to start the cycle again. The southern elephant seal is a true seal and is the largest pinniped (seal or sea lion) and carnivoran (hairy carnivore) in the world. 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