Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Steller Sea Lion

Bull Sea Lion
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Carnivora
Family :Otariidae
Genus : Eumetopias
Species : jubatus

Length : Males 11ft (3.25m), Females 8ft (2.5m)
Weight : Males 2,500lbs (1120kg), Females 1,000lbs (35kg)

IUCN Status : Endangered

Oh George Steller, you have so many species named after you! We've discussed his Sea Cow, his Sea Eagle, and now his Sea Lion! I had a cute little songbird planned for today, but I must admit that the massive Midwestern storm made me change up my post, so cold weather Sea Lion it is!

The Steller Sea Lion is the largest of all the "eared seals," which includes fur seals and sea lions. They can be found in the Northern waters of the Pacific, running from Hokkaido, Japan over to Alaska and sometimes even down as far as California. They are carnivores, and eat fish, squids, octopuses, crustaceans, and, on occasion, smaller seals. They are able to dive 1,300ft (400m) in search of prey.

Pup, Female, and Male
During Breeding Season, Steller Sea Lions congregate on beaches, or "rookeries," which get completely covered by the animals. Bulls fight of territories and the cows within them. Their single-mindedness also leads to the deaths of young pups, who get trampled over by the massive males.

Steller Sea Lions have seen a drastic decline in population since the 1970s. The number have dropped over75%. One likely cause of this is the increase of commercial fishing, which has reduced the Sea Lion's prey.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...