Sea lion: characteristics, habits and curiosities

In this article you will learn about the characteristics of the sea lion . Also check out what their habits are , what they eat, how they breed and curiosities . See photos of this animal. Follow below!

The sea lion is an animal of the carnivorous order (carnivores), of the suborder Pinnipedia (pinnipeds), which received its name due to its appearance with the lion. Adult males have hair that resembles a lion’s mane and in addition, they emit a sound that is similar to the lion’s roar. The sea lion is also confused with the walrus , but the walrus differs due to the presence of a huge pair of teeth protruding from the mouth.

Another very common misconception occurs between the sea lion and the seal, even being called “eared seal”. To differentiate both animals, it is worth noting some details.

Sea lions have a pair of ears and excellent hearing, while seals do not have an external ear. Seals are excellent swimmers and sea lions are less so. When they are on the ground or on top of rocks, sea lions can move and climb very well, but seals only drag the body. The sea lion can project its fins forward and march on land.

The sea lion got its name due to the mustaches similar to the feline king (Photo: depositphotos)

Features of the sea lion

The sea lion is an animal that has hair similar to the lion’s mane, in the case of males. It has a small pair of ears. Your body is adapted to conserve heat, because despite living in low temperatures and submerged in water, your skin is formed by an extensive layer of fat that acts as a thermal insulator. This layer of fat is very similar to that of the polar bear, helping to store energy and making it easier for the animal to move in the water.

The sea lion’s body is delicate and smooth, with a very muscular and resistant neck. Its snout has a pointed aspect with mustaches , it has four fins and when it dives, its rear fins work like a rudder. On dry land they act as a “foot” together with the front fins.


Because it is an animal of semi-aquatic habit, it enjoys both the terrestrial environment and the aquatic environment. The sea lion is considered a slow animal, spending most of the day lying in the sun .

It is usually found in groups , being the largest herd of mammals in existence. Some groups can be made up of millions of individuals. This behavior of living in groups favors the body warming of these animals. They can dive to a depth of approximately 200 meters and remain in the water for more than half an hour.

They are animals that practice polygamy during sexual practice, that is, the male has several females which are shared with other males. They usually mate on islands, far from possible predators. The gestation of the females is quite extensive, lasting around 11 to 12 months. They are carnivorous mammals .

Where they live

They live on the coast, in several coastal regions, close to the poles. They inhabit low-temperature regions in subarctic or tropical waters, founded in the northern and southern hemispheres. They can live for about 50 years.

Places in the world where you can find them

The sea lion lives in natural habitats, being found in different regions of the planet. In Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador there is the southern sea lion also known as the Patagonian sea lion; in Alaska, the United States, Mexico and Canada you can find the California sea lion; in the North Pacific, between Russia and Japan, as well as in Alaska, Steller’s sea lion; on both coasts of South America, in Argentina and in Chile, the South American sea lion; in the southwestern islands of Australia, one of the rarest species can be found, the Australian sea lion.

Sea lion facts

What they eat?

The sea lion is a carnivorous animal, its diet consists of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, some types of birds and even young sea wolves. They are preyed upon by sharks and whales, however, their biggest hunter is the human being. The man usually hunts this animal to extract its leather and fat, reaching the point of almost leading the sea lion to extinction. In addition, pollution of the marine environment, predatory fishing with nets and the use of these animals in circus shows, put their quality of life at risk.

How big is a sea lion?

The sea lion is a relatively large animal, being able to measure about 6 meters in length. They are very heavy animals, mainly males, some even weigh 3 tons . However, there are smaller species. In Brazil, for example, the only species of sea lion found is the southern sea lion, which can reach just over 2.70 meters and weigh 350 kg.

What is the difference between walrus and sea lion?

The sea lion belongs to the Otariidae family and the walrus is part of the Odobenidae family. The walrus can be easily identified due to the presence of a pair of hypertrophied upper canines , which stick out of the mouth. They are ivory teeth that can reach 1 meter in length. Walruses have no hair, no outer ear, their skin is thick and wrinkled. Leôncio from the drawing “Pica Pau” is a walrus and not a sea lion. Walruses use their teeth to move around, digging them into the ice and pushing their bodies forward. They measure up to 5 meters in length and weigh 1.5 tons.

The sea lion has body hair, an outer ear and the male has a mane-like species similar to that of a lion. The sea lion still manages to bend the front legs forward, which allows these animals to move around on land and on rocky surfaces.

What is the name of this animal’s teeth?

The sea lion has very strong teeth and tusks, as they are carnivorous animals. Its teeth are similar to those of the bear and felines.

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