California Sea Lion
The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) is a coastal sea lion of the northern Pacific Ocean. Males grow to 600 lb (300 kg) and 8 ft (2.4 m) long. The females are significantly smaller they are about 200 lb (100 kg) and 6.5 ft (2 m) long.
The California Sea Lion has a streamlined body that contains a layer of blubber under the skin to provide warmth and buoyancy. Their large eyes help them adjust to low levels of light in underwater environments, while their whiskers augment their sense of touch. Their nostrils automatically close once they hit the water. Their long front flippers rotate outward for better movement on land, and propel them forward in water, where they are most at home. Males grow a large crest of bone on the top of their heads as they reach sexual maturity.
California Sea Lions feed on a wide-variety of seafood including fish, shellfish, and squid. They are highly sociable and gather in large numbers on beaches and coasts. They are also often associated with marinas and wharves, and may even be seen on navigational buoys.
It usually breeds around May to June and females have a 12-month pregnancy period. The pup is usually born from June to August, and the mother may give birth on land or in water. California Sea Lions are the only mammals whose milk does not contain lactose.
California Sea Lions are intelligent and adaptable. They are often trained as entertainers at ocean parks and zoos as well as by researchers studying interspecies cooperation in the marine environment.