Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. The group of marine mammals consisting of seals, sea lions, and walruses is known as the Pinnipeds, (from "pinna" meaning "feather" + "pes" meaning "foot" = "feather-footed"). Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. Seals and sea lions are marine mammals called pinnipeds that differ in physical characteristics and adaptations. Both have ear flaps and both are noisy, although an experienced listener can distinguish between the two “languages.” Searching from Sea Lion Point for a Steller requires binoculars in order to see the distinction between the two species. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are the quiet marine mammals resting on near shore rocks along the Point Lobos shoreline. The quiet behavior and camouflage coloration can make them easy to miss. Crescent City, CA They can’t “walk” on land the way a sea lion can. Much more agile in their ocean environment, an elephant seal moves on land with considerable effort, by using its front flippers and belly. Their solid color coats range from dark to golden brown. Elephant seals spend up to 80% of their lives in the ocean. The sea lions at Point Lobos are mostly adult males and juveniles of both sexes. The population of California sea lions is considered stable. Sea lions also hunt together. Sea lions are very social animals. Another seal that many people think of is the leopard seal. Sea Lions . At nighttime they hunt within several miles of shore for fish, crabs, squid and octopus. Longer and deeper dives are possible. The long front and rotating hind flippers enable them to “walk” on land and to climb - whether it be on rocks, buoys, or boats in a marina. Seals also are suited to spend more time in the water than sea lions, which can "walk" on shore with their large flippers and spend time in large social groups. You will be amazed to see this large animal on top of the highest points. 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. Monk seals, including the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, are also categorized as true seals. But seals and sea lions are in different taxonomical families owing to some key anatomical differences. Adult males are significantly larger than females. They have external ears, hind flippers they can turn forward under the body and walk on and no fur on the under side of their flippers. Visit one of the rookeries during the winter birthing and breeding season for an amazing nature experience. Look closely at their head and you will notice small ear flaps and long dog-like noses. 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. Fur seals and sea lions are also known as eared seals. Eared seals include fur seals and sea lions. Harbor Seals Southern Sea Otters . But this was something different entirely. The sea lion's hind flippers are stronger and more flexible. Cetaceans (dolphins, porpoise and whales), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and sea otters call the Pacific Northwest home. When first noticed, the flipper might be confused with the dorsal (back) fin of a whale or shark. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. They have a blunt face and a boxy, bear-like head. Mike Baird . Source: Sea Lion Eating a Leopard Shark, SD Expeditions. When the hunt for food leads them to species desired by humans, such as salmon, fishermen sometimes consider the sea lions as competition. Females are much smaller. If you look closely at an elephant seal you notice black whiskers instead of the harbor seal’s white whiskers. 866.338.7227  |  80 Garden Court #106 Monterey, CA  93940   Site is maintained by the Point Lobos Foundation ©2018   Site designed by Forest Design LLC. They can eat all kinds of large prey - including tuna, rays, other sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters and birds. Mike Baird . They can be heard from most locations in the reserve. The occasional sightings at Point Lobos might include a recently weaned pup who hasn’t learned to successfully forage and is suffering from malnutrition. Since the 1960's, the population of Steller sea lions has declined by at least 50%. They spend about half their time on land and half in water. A pair of binoculars will enhance the viewing experience. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. Elephant seals dive deep in search of food. Seals and sea lions share adaptations for living in the sea—including blubber, flippers, and streamlined bodies. Less frequently an adult male might visit Point Lobos. Fall and winter is the most likely time for this occasional visitor to appear mixed in among the California sea lions on the Sea Lion Rocks. The most notable anatomical differences are the ears and the flippers. Pups weigh about 20 pounds and can swim within minutes of birth. At the rookery the male tries to attract as many females as possible to his harem. Both a sea lion and a seal or walrus are carnivorous mammals belonging to the pinniped superfamily, so they have many common characteristics, but also others that differentiate them. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest species of seal in the world. Sea lions can be seen year round although their numbers are less in summer. They now number approximately 85,000. Females can reach 220 pounds and about 6 feet in length. Large groups rest closely packed together on land, even sprawled over one another. Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) were once abundant and commonly seen at  Point Lobos as recently as the 1950’s. There may be a small breeding colony of Stellers using near shore rocks in RNSP. Instead they flop along on their bellies. They can rotate under the sea lion's body and support it, enabling the sea lion to "walk" with the flippers on land. An elephant seal flips sand on itself to help regulate body temperature. The Phocidae, or family group to which the true seals belong, are believed to have descended from a terrestrial weasel-like ancestor, while the Otariidae, or sea lion family group, are thought to have descended from a terrestrial bear-like ancestor. 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. The average depth of their dives is about 300 to 600 m (1,000 to 2,000 ft), typically for around 20 minutes for females and 60 … Under the EPBC Act all seals and sea lions occurring within Australian waters are listed as marine species (EPBC Act 1999; section 248). Respectful observation of seals is especially important during the pupping season. Sea Lion Point Trail offers a direct view to the Sea Lion Rocks offshore. 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. Elephant seals haul out to molt at different times based on age and gender, so you can always see some elephant seals at the rookeries. In the not too distant past, elephant seals were highly endangered. 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. 1111 Second Street The "seals" you may see performing at marine parks are often sea lions. Piedras Blancas rookery, the largest rookery, is a little over 2 hours drive to the south on the Big Sur coastline near San Simeon. They are really a type of sea lion. They are dark grey immediately after moulting, fading through the year to a rusty greyish brown. When not congregating together to rest, they can be seen swimming past the shoreline, sometimes jumping out of the water as they move along. Elephant seals get their name because the males - called bulls - have a huge trunk-like proboscis. Southern Elephant Seal - Mirounga leonina The Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) is one of the two extant species of elephant seal.It is both the largest pinniped and member of the order Carnivora living today. Steller males are massive, the largest of the eared seals, weighing in at 1,200 lbs (0.5 metric ton) or greater. Nowadays, sighting a Steller is noteworthy. Mating season is June through August. About Elephant Seals Seals on the sand. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. It is an offence to kill, injure, take, trade, keep, or move any member of a listed marine species on Australian Government land or in Commonwealth waters without a permit.Where these animals occur in state jurisdictions relevant state legislation applies. After weaning, the previously devoted mom leaves the pup on its own. What Are the Differences Between Seals and Sea Lions? The Friends of the Elephant Seal are available to answer questions at the viewing areas from 10am to 4pm daily. Jul 9, 2014 - Explore Hanna Shirley's board "Elephant seal" on Pinterest. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. Mating occurs under water. They often float together on the water’s surface in rafts with one or both flippers raised out of the water. Video by NOAA Fisheries. Harbor seals don’t migrate far from home. They can hold their breath for more than 100 minutes – longer than any other noncetaceanmammal. 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. Oddly enough fur seals are not seals at all. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. In and around RNSP, there are two seal species to be found, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirotris). 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. Docents and the information they share will enrich your viewing experience. Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. elephant seal (top) and harbor seal. Despite the similarities of outward appearance, true seals and sea lions have some noticeable differences, due to convergent evolution. Adult male Stellers have a bulky build and a very thick neck with longer fur that resembles a lion's mane. 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. 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)). Stellers are much larger and lighter in color than California sea lions, ranging from light tan to reddish brown. The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. They are graceful, curious and speedy swimmers, propelled by the webbed hind flipper. Adult males are enormous – at least six times larger than polar bears and nearly twice the size of the next largest seal (the northern elephant seal). Small intestine lengths range from 8 times (California sea lion) to 25 times (elephant seal) the body length. Harbor seals are torpedo-shaped and have short flippers. There are other, somewhat subtle, differences between the front flippers of the two groups, but the hind flipper differences are noticeable. Sea lions can live 20-30 years, with females tending to live longer than males. These animals may be seen hauled out on off shore rocks, and occasionally on sandy beaches. Two species inhabit the sanctuary, the elephant seal and harbor seal. The pinniped suborder has 33 species in three families. 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. The smaller females can grow to nine feet and weigh 1,000 pounds. Steller sea lions have golden-colored fur with darker extremities, and instead of the "bark" of the California sea lion, Stellers vocalize by growling or "bellowing". Sea Lion Island is the most southerly inhabited island in the Falkland archipelago at 52.43 south and 59.1 west. Memorize the color and design of spots, unique to each seal, and you might even be able to find a familiar face! 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. Sea Otters . They can have one pup per year after a 9-month gestation. The average dive lasts less than 10 minutes and is relatively shallow, less than 300 feet. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is an occasional visitor to Point Lobos. There is a small rookery on Ano Nuevo Island, located offshore from Ano Nuevo State Park (about a 2 hour drive north of Point Lobos). The largest concentration of Steller rookeries is in the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. Although still nursing, the females are ready to mate within 4 weeks of giving birth. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. When it comes to scratching, it's the opposite, true seals use their fore flippers while sea lions use their rear flippers. It breeds on subantarctic islands and is the largest of all pinnipeds, with males reaching 2-4 t and females almost 1 t. An adult male’s blubber can be 10 cm thick and in commercial sealing days one individual could yield up to 400 L of oil. While at sea they lead a solitary life and cover long distances in search of food. Elephant Seals. This is the southernmost breeding area for the species. Breeding age females remain near the rookeries all year and give birth in June or July. You can view this natural wonder in April and May at two primary locations within Point Lobos - Whalers Cove beach and China Cove beach. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. When watching seals it’s important to avoid loud noises and to maintain a distance that does not disturb them. 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. Pinnipeds divide their time between near shore terrestrial habitats and the ocean. New Zealand examples include the leopard seal and southern elephant seal. Within this super family, the three are divided into three families: the otaridos (sea lions), the phocidae (seals) and the Odobenidae (walruses). Look for the blue jackets to find a docent. The average length is 5 - 6 feet. 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