Though they are called California sea lions, they are not limited to California, and are found all up and down the Eastern Pacific coast. Known for their intelligence and learning capacity, California sea lions are popular in aquariums and zoos, and are thus one of the most well-studied pinnipeds.
"These mammals have thick spindle-shaped bodies that are covered in short black or brown fur. Their heads are slightly long and have large earflaps on the side. They may appear on your boat from time to time.
The sea lion's legs are more developed than those of seals, which enables it to walk on land. Each has five webbed fingers at the end. Males also have a thick pelt of hair around their necks.
Being highly polygamous, males will often lead herds composed of themselves and ten or more females. The male then patrols the territory to ensure that no rival males approach and that females don't attempt to leave."
"This sea lion's short fur can be glossy black or matte brown. Each male has a distinctive mane around its neck. With five webbed digits on its legs and flippers more developed than those of other sea lions, it can also move nimbly on land. It is polygamous, with a male creating a harem of over 10 females. Because of this the male patrols to protect against other encroaching on his turf."
California sea lions can be found swimming near Cake Rock in Gatama Atoll in a rather large pack of adults only. On shore, at D-1, you'll find several of them, in both the adult and young forms. There is no trivia about this animal.
- Contrary to both in-game descriptions, and contrary to most other sea lion species, male California sea lions don't actually have a thick mane of fur around their necks. Their mane is, in reality, far less developed than those of their relatives. They do, however, frequently tend to have a crest of fur starting on their foreheads that grows lighter with age.
- Male California sea lions also develop something called a "sagittal crest", a prominent ridge of bone down the center of the head, starting at around five years old. The genus name, Zalophus, is actually in reference to this - it translates from Greek into "big-crested" or "big-headed".
- An aspect of the appearance that the first game got right is the presence of the external ear flaps on sea lions. In fact, California sea lions belong to the family Otariidae, which means "little ears".
- California sea lions are not very graceful on land, but they are still very fast - about 22 feet (6.7 meters) per second at top speed. They are also known for being unusually maneuverable, able to climb up and down rocks as they please. Like the first game says, sea lions have leg-like fins that offer extra agility ashore, while seals are far more ungainly.
- California sea lions are much faster underwater than on land, at speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour underwater (40-48 kilometers per hour). They are skilled divers, able to stay underwater for up to 10 minutes in search of food. They can also go down to 1312 feet (400 meters) below the surface.
- Like both games report, male California sea lions will round up large groups of females that they then proceed to defend fiercely. The places where these groups gather are sometimes called "rookeries". When not in the context of mating season, groups of sea lions are called "colonies".
- California sea lions are known for their distinctive, noisy calls. Males bark the most frequently, and even moreso during mating season; females and pups recognize each other through unique vocalizations and smell.
- Fluke and Rudder, two lazy sea lions from the Disney/Pixar film Finding Dory, are California sea lions.
- National Geographic
- Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute
- Channel Islands Sportfishing
- NOAA Fisheries California Sea Lion Page
- Animal Diversity Web
- Pacific Marine Mammal Center
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- Marine Mammal Center
- Dolphin Research Center (Sea Lion Information)
- "Galloping sea lions could inspire land-sea robots"; Elizabeth Pennisi
- Point Lobos Foundation
- "Biomechanical energetics of terrestrial locomotion: California sea lion vs. northern elephant seal"; S.J. Kerr, A.J. Nicastro, J. Zeligs, S. Skrovan, F.E. Fish
- New England Aquarium
- IUCN Red List
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
- Denver Zoo
- Georgia Aquarium
- Animal Facts Encyclopedia
- Marine Mammal Center