Zalophus Californianus

California Sea Lion


  • Domain Eukarya: This domain includes specimens that are heterotrophs, which means that they eat other Eukaryotes for energy, and they can be single celled or multicellular
  • Kingdom Anamalia: All members of Animalia are multicellular, and all are heterotrophs.Animal cells lack the rigid cell walls that characterize plant cells.
  • Phylum Chordata: All specimens in the Phylum chordata have bilateral symmetry, a segmented body with segmented uscles, a dorsal and ventral heart and blood vessels and a complete digestive system.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: All specimens in the subphlum Vertebrata include fishes, amphibians, birds and mammals. All share a spine, or vertebra, that runs down the specimen's back.
  • Class Mammalia: All animals in the Class Mamalia have 3 middle ear bones, hair, and sweat glands, formally called mammary glands, that produce a modified milk.
  • Order Carnivora: Most members of the order Canivora have large upper and lower teeth which form an efficent shear for eating prey. Theese teeth are formally called the carnissal pair.
  • Family Otariidae: All specimens in the family Otariids have fur, sea lions have relitively coarse hairs, while fur seals haave dense underfur. Color is a shade of borwn, with no stripes or markings.nThe flippers are paddle-like, around 1/4 of the lenght of the body.
  • Genus Zalophus: California Sea Lion
  • Species Californianus: California Sea Lion

Physical Description

Height: Around 5-11 ft (1.5-33m)

Weight: Newborn Sea Lions are about 5 kg. Male adults are around 275 kg - 380 kg, and female adults are around 91 kg.

Color: Adult Sea Lions are brown with lighter stomaches and side coloring, females are brown but also can be tan.

Natural Range: Sea Lions usually are found from California to Mexico including other places such as the southern Sea of Japan. Male Sea Lions usually migrate to British Columbia after the breeding season.

Diet: Sea Lions usually eat cephalopods, anchovies, herring, Pacific whiting, rockfish, hake, salmon, squid and octopuses

Habitat Description: Sea Lions live mostly along the coastlines, but havebeen found in rivers near the Pacific coast. Sea Lions also tend to rest on man-made structures, such as, jetties, piers, offshorebuoys and oil platforms.

Predators: Known predators of the California Sea Lion include great white sharks, bull sharks, and killer whales.

Behavorial Adaptations

Sea Lions can dive down to depths of 274 meters this help them escape predators that wil be looking for prey. Also, they can reach a speed of up to 15 to 20 miles per hour while swimming which also helps them escape future preadtors. Thirdly, the Sea Lion can use their system of echolocation to find food, orient themselves and navigate underater. Using echolocation to find food will help them find and eat prey. Using echolocation to orient themselves will help them get around in the water and be useful in the case of danger. And lastly, using echolocation to navigate underwater will help them be more mobile to navigate which ill help them escape predators, and find their own prey.

Physical Adaptations

The Sea Lions' bodies are smooth streamlined and arranged in a torpedo shape which makes their body more hydrodynamic, whic means that they can swim faster. They also have long front flippers that give them power in their swimming which helps the sea lion escape predators and cath their prey. Also, the sea lions have short flippers on the back of their body which helps them wit steering and making quick, sharp turns. Fourthly, the Sea Lions have nostrills that are closed to keep out water which helps them breathe and survive better. Lastly, the sea lions are warm-blooded so they have a thick coat of fat which helps them survive by keeping them warm.


.Aurioles, D. & Trillmich, F. (IUCN SSC Pinniped Specialist Group) 2008. Zalophus californianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 20 March 2015.

Burton, M. (2002). Sea lion. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 16, pp. 2282-2284). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

California sea lion. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo website:

California sea lion. (n.d.). Retrieved March 18, 2015, from National Geographic website:

Price, R. 2002. “Zalophus californianus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at