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The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) is a large species of sea lion found in both Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean 2.

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.

Encyclopedia Description

Endless Ocean

"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."

Endless Ocean 2

"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."

Location

Endless Ocean

California sea lions will appear sometimes on the Gabbiano year-round. They can also be found inhabiting Sunshine Beach during certain months of the year.

Endless Ocean 2

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.

Notes

Real-Life Information

  • 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[1][2]. Their mane is, in reality, far less developed than those of their relatives[3]. They do, however, frequently tend to have a crest of fur starting on their foreheads that grows lighter with age[2][4][5].
    • 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[6]. The genus name, Zalophus, is actually in reference to this - it translates from Greek into "big-crested" or "big-headed"[3][7].
    • An aspect of the appearance that the first game got right is the presence of the external ear flaps on sea lions[8]. In fact, California sea lions belong to the family Otariidae, which means "little ears"[9].
  • 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[10]. They are also known for being unusually maneuverable, able to climb up and down rocks as they please[11]. Like the first game says, sea lions have leg-like fins that offer extra agility ashore, while seals are far more ungainly[12].
    • 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)[1][2]. They are skilled divers, able to stay underwater for up to 10 minutes in search of food[13][14]. They can also go down to 1312 feet (400 meters) below the surface[13][15].
      • When hunting, they'll sometimes follow fishing boats in order to catch fish that might have escaped from the nets, or they'll follow dolphins or whales to take advantage of the fish they gather up[4][16].
  • Like both games report, male California sea lions will round up large groups of females that they then proceed to defend fiercely[17]. The places where these groups gather are sometimes called "rookeries"[18]. When not in the context of mating season, groups of sea lions are called "colonies"[19].
  • California sea lions are known for their distinctive, noisy calls[16][20]. Males bark the most frequently, and even moreso during mating season[4][20]; females and pups recognize each other through unique vocalizations and smell[8][13].
    • Due to this vocal nature, California sea lions are receptive to vocal prompts from humans. The sea lions often seen performing tricks and responding to commands from trainers are California sea lions, which are also known for being very intelligent and playful[3][20].
  • Fluke and Rudder, two lazy sea lions from the Disney/Pixar film Finding Dory, are California sea lions.

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