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. Mike Baird . The long front and rotating hind flippers enable them to âwalkâ on land and to climb - whether it be on rocks, buoys, or boats in a marina. After weaning, the previously devoted mom leaves the pup on its own. This is why they are more … And in general, true seals have more blubber and are more streamlined. 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. This behavior is called âporpoising.â They are fast swimmers (reaching up to 25 mph), using the front flippers for propulsion and the hind flippers to steer. 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. The seals you see today could be the same seals you see on your next visit to Point Lobos. Harbor Seals Southern Sea Otters . You will be amazed to see this large animal on top of the highest points. Longer and deeper dives are possible. 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. Mating occurs under water. Within this super family, the three are divided into three families: the otaridos (sea lions), the phocidae (seals) and the Odobenidae (walruses). Both have ear flaps and both are noisy, although an experienced listener can distinguish between the two âlanguages.â Searching from Sea Lion Point for a Steller requires binoculars in order to see the distinction between the two species. Their most outstanding feature is the inflatable proboscis (snout) which reaches full development in adult males, and is thought to increase the effectiveness of the bull elephant seal's roar. Due to this decline, Steller sea lions are now listed as a federally threatened species. Sea lions can be seen year round although their numbers are less in summer. First thing's first: To see the elephant seals at San Simeon, you have to know just where to go. But this was something different entirely. Elephant seals dive deep in search of food. Sea lions are very social animals. 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. Elephant seals are characterized by extraordinary behavior. Large groups rest closely packed together on land, even sprawled over one another. Mating season is June through August. The largest concentration of Steller rookeries is in the Gulf of Alaska and Aleutian Islands. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. There may be a small breeding colony of Stellers using near shore rocks in RNSP. But seals and sea lions are in different taxonomical families owing to some key anatomical differences. Two species inhabit the sanctuary, the elephant seal and harbor seal. They are the deepest diving pinniped known with an average dive to 1800 feet and a maximum recorded depth of over 5000 feet. They use their front flippers similarly to sea lions otariids and leopard seal females are larger than males. 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 … The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is an occasional visitor to Point Lobos. 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. Look closely at their head and you will notice small ear flaps and long dog-like noses. 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. Sea otters are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws and rest by floating on their back. The first difference between the seals and sea lions that we will discuss is the shape of their bodies and front fore flippers. Unlike earless seals, their hind flippers can turn forward, and they are better able to walk, and even run, on their flippers. Pups are nursed on momâs rich milk and double their weight before weaning at approximately 4 weeks. When watching seals itâs important to avoid loud noises and to maintain a distance that does not disturb them. Cetaceans (dolphins, porpoise and whales), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and sea otters call the Pacific Northwest home. Video by NOAA Fisheries. May congregate in larger groups than true seals. Source: Sea Lion Eating a Leopard Shark, SD Expeditions. 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. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. Males can reach 650 pounds and 8 feet in length. Ano Nuevo State Park is about 2 hours north of Point Lobos. They are graceful, curious and speedy swimmers, propelled by the webbed hind flipper. Mike Baird . Expectant moms congregate at the same rookeries, usually beaches, where they were born. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. 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. 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. The Friends of the Elephant Seal are available to answer questions at the viewing areas from 10am to 4pm daily. Adult males are significantly larger than females. This does not help the already confused general public distinguish between seals and sea lions. Sand flipping is another clue. Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. Seals and sea lions are marine mammals called pinnipeds that differ in physical characteristics and adaptations. Another seal that many people think of is the leopard seal. 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. Since the 1960's, the population of Steller sea lions has declined by at least 50%. Gestation is about 9 months and can be preceded by a 3-month delayed implantation period. Memorize the color and design of spots, unique to each seal, and you might even be able to find a familiar face! Adult male Stellers have a bulky build and a very thick neck with longer fur that resembles a lion's mane. This characteristic defines their group as âtrue seals.â Males tend to be slightly larger than females and can reach up to 250 pounds. Their only natural predators are orcas and great white sharks. Females are much smaller. The population of California sea lions is considered stable. They stay with the newborn pup and nurse for at least 5 or 6 months, sometimes up to one year. They are often seen bobbing in the surf, checking out the shoreline. Females can reach 220 pounds and about 6 feet in length. 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 . A typical dive for the sea lion is a few minutes long and down to 300 feet. China Cove beach is closed during pupping season but the trail above offers a birdâs-eye view. Elephant seals get their name because the males - called bulls - have a huge trunk-like proboscis. Fur seals and sea lions are also known as eared seals. See more ideas about elephant seal, elephant, sea lion. Subadults might also haul out on our beaches to rest. Males can grow to 11 feet in length and weigh almost 2,500 pounds. Hauling out to rest and sleep is an important part of a sealâs routine. Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family of Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. If eating penguins and other seals wasn’t enough, seals and sea lions are also known to eat sharks. Most of the California sea lions in RNSP are adult and subadult males that migrate north after the breeding season in southern California. Males reach lengths of nearly 20 feet (6 m) and weights of more than 8000 pounds (3700 kg). 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. Older animals rarely appear at Point Lobos. Adult males establish and defend breeding territories and form harems. They canât âwalkâ on land the way a sea lion can. In and around RNSP, there are two seal species to be found, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirotris). Elephant seals spend up to 80% of their lives in the ocean. Males remain there for about one month and then return to California and as far north as British Columbia. An elephant seal flips sand on itself to help regulate body temperature. Adult males leave our central coast in early summer headed for the Channel Islands in southern California or for Mexico. Eared seals include fur seals and sea lions. Harbor seals donât migrate far from home. Their bodies are long and slender, and their heads appear to be almost too large for their serpent-like bodies. New Zealand examples include the leopard seal and southern elephant seal. They can hold their breath for more than 100 minutes – longer than any other noncetaceanmammal. Gestation can be preceded by up to 3 months of delayed implantation. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". Pups weigh about 20 pounds and can swim within minutes of birth. Look for the blue jackets to find a docent. The occasional sightings at Point Lobos might include a recently weaned pup who hasnât learned to successfully forage and is suffering from malnutrition. Elephant seals use their teeth during fighting to rake the necks of o… The northern elephant seal is the second largest seal in the world, after the southern elephant seal. Sea Otters . Piedras Blancas rookery, the largest rookery, is a little over 2 hours drive to the south on the Big Sur coastline near San Simeon. Although still nursing, the females are ready to mate within 4 weeks of giving birth. Despite the similarities of outward appearance, true seals and sea lions have some noticeable differences, due to convergent evolution. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. are brown, bark loudly, “walk” on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. Crescent City, CA 1111 Second Street A pair of binoculars will enhance the viewing experience. These destinations are the breeding grounds. This is the southernmost breeding area for the species. 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. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest species of seal in the world. The smaller females can grow to nine feet and weigh 1,000 pounds. For almost guaranteed elephant seal viewing, drive a couple hours to one of the nearby mainland rookeries. Harbor seals are torpedo-shaped and have short flippers. The average length is 5 - 6 feet. They are day-sleepers, frequently misunderstood as lazy if you don't realize they are nocturnal hunters. Also, sea lions are just plain noisy, whereas seals are a bit quieter. But seals and sea lions belong to … 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. When did YOU fall in love with Point Lobos. They can live up to 20 years (males) and up to 30 years (females). The awkward movement on land is in sharp contrast to their excellent adaptation underwater. All together the Sea Lion Island population seems to be pretty healthy. When not congregating together to rest, they can be seen swimming past the shoreline, sometimes jumping out of the water as they move along. 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. "This is very weird because it's hair and feathers, mammals and birds," he … The sea lion's hind flippers are stronger and more flexible. 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. 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. 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"). The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is an occasional visitor to Point Lobos. 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. What Are the Differences Between Seals and Sea Lions? The adult male, with its large elongated nose, is enormous at over 2 tons and up to 16 feet; females are significantly smaller. They have spotted coats in a variety of shades from white or silver-gray to dark brown. 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. Grey seals leopard seals elephant seals harp seals and ringed seals are among the 19 species of true seals. The "seals" you may see performing at marine parks are often sea lions. New Zealand examples are the New Zealand fur seal and New Zealand sea lion. In and around Redwood National and State Parks, the most commonly seen eared seal is the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Oddly enough fur seals are not seals at all. The name âPoint Lobosâ is derived from what the Spanish explorers called this area - âPunta de los Lobos Marinos" which means the "point of the sea wolves.â Since sea lions bark while on land and offshore rocks, their barking was probably an aid to navigation for the first explorers, warning them of rocks in the fog. When seals and sea lions share our shores, we need to give them space, especially mothers with pups. Their large eyes and sensitive whiskers help locate prey. Less frequently an adult male might visit Point Lobos. In the not too distant past, elephant seals were highly endangered. 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)). Getting There. The California Sea Lion as pictured […] Elephant seals, on the other hand, are uniformly tan colored all over, and seen only rarely within the parks. Sea Lions . They have no external ear flaps, just ear holes. Their solid color coats range from dark to golden brown. They can eat all kinds of large prey - including tuna, rays, other sharks, dolphins, whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters and birds. They are really a type of sea lion. are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws, and rest by floating on their backs. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. The quiet behavior and camouflage coloration can make them easy to miss. Pinnipeds divide their time between near shore terrestrial habitats and the ocean. They have a blunt face and a boxy, bear-like head. Sea lions and fur seals (seals with thick fur that are more similar to sea lions than to … Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. 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". Both have long front flippers and rotating hind flippers enabling them to âwalkâ on land. Let’s sort out the taxonomy first. Like harbor seals, elephant seals lack ear flaps and move on land by flopping along on the belly. 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 … There are other, somewhat subtle, differences between the front flippers of the two groups, but the hind flipper differences are noticeable. 866.338.7227 | 80 Garden Court #106 Monterey, CA 93940 Site is maintained by the Point Lobos Foundation Â©2018 Site designed by Forest Design LLC. 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. The other resident eared seal is the Steller, or Northern, sea lion (Eumetopias jubata), a federally threatened species. 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. Swim with their front flippers. They can be heard from most locations in the reserve. Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. Small intestine lengths range from 8 times (California sea lion) to 25 times (elephant seal) the body length. California sea lions are the "trained seal" of marine parks and circuses. It's even possible that a seal might to try to reproduce with a sea lion. If you look closely at an elephant seal you notice black whiskers instead of the harbor sealâs white whiskers. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are the quiet marine mammals resting on near shore rocks along the Point Lobos shoreline. Harbor seals . Seals and sea lions share adaptations for living in the sea—including blubber, flippers, and streamlined bodies. They can have one pup per year after a 9-month gestation. Jul 9, 2014 - Explore Hanna Shirley's board "Elephant seal" on Pinterest. 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. 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). Quiet and shy, harbor When first noticed, the flipper might be confused with the dorsal (back) fin of a whale or shark. The two species might be confused with one another because they share many physical characteristics. Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. 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