Steller Sea Lion
Facts about this animal
Adult animals are lighter than most sea lions, ranging from pale yellow to tawny and occasionally reddish. Females tend to be slightly darker than the males. Steller sea lion pups are born almost black, weighing around 23 kg, and remain dark for several months. Females and males both grow rapidly until the fifth year, after which female growth slows down considerably, attaining on average 2.5 m in length and 300 kg.
Males continue to grow until their secondary sexual traits appear in their fifth to eighth year. While only slightly longer than the females (2.8-3.3 m), males have much wider chests, necks and general forebody structure and are 2-3 times more massive (600-1'100 kg). Males are further distinguished by broader, higher foreheads, flatter snouts, and darker, slightly tuftier hair around their large necks, giving them a maned appearance. Indeed, their Latin name translates roughly as: "maned one with the broad forehead".
Did you know?
That this sea lion is named after George Wilhelm Steller, an eminent German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer, who accompanied the Russian explorer Vitus Bering in 1741 on his second Alaskan expedition? Steller was the first qualified observer to study and classify these animals.
|Name (Scientific)||Eumetopias jubatus|
|Name (English)||Steller Sea Lion|
|Name (French)||Lion de mer de Steller, Otarie de Steller|
|Name (German)||Stellersche Seelöwe|
|Name (Spanish)||El león marino de Steller|
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
|Range||North Pacific coasts of Asia and America|
|Habitat||Found on rocky shores, sand, shingle or pebble shores. It prefers cool waters.|
|Wild population||Between 105,800-117,800 (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||17 reported to ISIS (2007)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 76 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
Steller Sea Lions are exhibited in many zoos and aquariums because of their naturally inquisitive nature and their ability to playfully interact with other animals, humans and their surrounding environment. This connection allows the zoos and aquariums an excellent opportunity to educate their visitors about the role these animals play in the natural environment. Importantly, any animal presentations should convey a strong conservation message that benefits the entire species of sea lions.