Sea lions

South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) are characterised by their almost black colour when born, which turns dark brown in both sexes when they reach the adult age.

Where to find them?

You can find the sea lions in the Islands habitat of Oceanogràfic.

General aspects

Males measure up to 2.5 metres, exceeding 300 kilograms and with a large mane around their neck, similar to that of lions, also having a similar roar. Females measure up to 2 metres and weigh 150 kilograms.

Which region do they inhabit?

Sea lions are distributed along the Pacific rim (from the north of California to the north of Honshu in Japan, through the Bering Strait). Around 70% of sea lion populations live in Alaska.

What do they feed on?

Generally on fish, including the Pacific herring, haddock, salmon, cod and rock fish. They also feed on octopus and some squid.

How do they reproduce?

Sea lions mate and give birth on land. Births occur between May and July, with a significant peak in June.
Mating occurs a few weeks after the birth of the pups from the previous year. These pups are nursed and start to enter the water at 4 or 6 months old.
Females give birth to a single pup and cannot do so every year. Pups are able to crawl and swim shortly after birth.

Are they always in the water?

Sea lions are mammals, therefore needing to come to the surface to breathe. They spend part of their time on land, and part in the water, where they hunt for their food.

Are they endangered?

In 1990, sea lions were included as an “endangered species” on the List of Endangered Species in the United States.

Did you know...?

Sea lions swim with their front flippers, while seals use their rear flippers.