California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)


California sea lions are members of the "eared seal" family, Otariidae. They are social animals and form large onshore groups over several hundred individuals. At sea, they are fast, agile swimmers and can often be seen porpoising and wave riding. Males are larger, more robust and darker in color while the females tend to be smaller lighter and more slender.

Size: Males up to 8 feet long, 750 pounds; females generally no larger than 220 pounds
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Diet: Squid, anchovies, mackerel, rockfish and sardines
Distribution: Range from British Columbia to Mexico
Journey to Monterey Bay: Year-round residents


Did You Know?


● California sea lions can dive for 12 minutes at a time.

● Rocks are sometimes found in their stomachs, and it is thought they may create a false sensation of fullness during the fasting period.

Animal facts courtesy of the BBC and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Explore more at

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