But after a thorough inspection, you may know the difference between sea lion vs seal.However, the differences are not very notable, but a good comparison between sea lion vs seal will show you the apparent differences. When comparing a sea lion vs. seal you can spot the difference a few ways, one of which is the lack or presence of an ear. But seals and sea lions belong to different families. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. Prior Knowledge. It is here that most similarities end, but while the species are different, it can be tough to tell the seal (particularly the fur seal) and the sea lion apart at first glance. But after a thorough inspection, you may know the difference between sea lion vs seal.However, the differences are not very notable, but a good comparison between sea lion vs seal will show you the apparent differences. Despite the similarities of outward appearance, true seals and sea lions have some noticeable differences, due to convergent evolution. The sea lion has a visual external pinnae that looks more like a tiny dog ear. They are actually different animal families under the order “pinniped,” which means “fin-footed” in Latin. They are often seen bobbing in the surf, checking out the shoreline. Seals and sea lions share adaptations for living in the sea—including blubber, flippers, and streamlined bodies. There may be a small breeding colony of Stellers using near shore rocks in RNSP. Noun. Both seals and sea lions, together with the walrus, are pinnipeds, which means "fin footed" in Latin. The biggest difference is in the presence of external ears. How to cite this article, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses. The Sea Lion vs. Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and lack visible ear flaps. Both a sea lion and a seal or walrus are carnivorous mammals belonging to the pinniped superfamily, so they have many common characteristics, but also others that differentiate them. Both the fur seal and the sea lion possess small flaps on the outside of their ears. Seals and sea lions share adaptations for living in the sea—including blubber, flippers, and streamlined bodies. At first glance, they may look fairly similar. Fur seals are occasionally seen off the RNSP coastline farther out to sea, however, they do not come ashore here, and breed in the far northern Pacific. Seals vs. Sea Lions. a modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence. Harbor seals are quite common and may be seen lounging on flat-topped near shore rocks, or hauled out sandy beaches, primarily around the Redwood Creek estuary. California sea lions are the "trained seal" of marine parks and circuses. Last updated: 11/13/19 The group of marine mammals consisting of seals, sea lions, and walruses is known as the Pinnipeds, (from "pinna" meaning "feather" + "pes" meaning "foot" = "feather-footed"). Sea lions and seals live with dolphins and otters as sea lovers attracting people to beaches and aquariums. The "earless" or "true" seals lack external ears altogether. Next, there is a pretty significant difference in flipper length and mobility. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". 11 Jul, 2018 Seals and sea lions are found in many of America’s national marine sanctuaries. Besides, when swimming, the seal mainly uses the hind flippers as thrusters; the sea lion swims with its front fins, with hind flippers acting as rudders. Fourth, while both species spend time both in and out of the water, seals are better adapted to live in the water than on land. In seals, the hind flippers extend directly behind the body, and are not capable of rotation unlike the hind flippers of sea lions that are longer and may be rotated toward the front of the body. Seals have little holes on their head, and lacks a pinnae. The other resident eared seal is the Steller, or Northern, sea lion (Eumetopias jubata), a federally threatened species. But upon closer inspection, you may wonder which animal you're actually pointing and grinning at: a seal or a sea lion. Crescent City, CA This is why they are more likely to be employed in aquaria and marine shows. True seals are also known as earless seals, or simply "seals". One must travel somewhere else along the California coast to see a spectacular adult male elephant seal, with its long proboscis, or nose, for which the species is named. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. Females are much smaller. The (Fur) Seal. Seals vs. sea lions is a difficult topic to grasp, but this article aims to clearly illuminate the difference between these two aquatic beasts. You have to get very close to see the tiny holes on the sides of a seal’s sleek head. Elephant seals, on the other hand, are uniformly tan colored all over, and seen only rarely within the parks. In and around Redwood National and State Parks, the most commonly seen eared seal is the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). The "earless" or "true" seals lack external ears altogether. Phocidae species can be called earless seals. The Phocidae, or family group to which the true seals belong, are believed to have descended from a terrestrial weasel-like ancestor, while the Otariidae, or sea lion family group, are thought to have descended from a terrestrial bear-like ancestor. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. Seals are quieter, vocalizing via soft grunts. Secondly, sea lions have small flaps for outer ears. These animals may be seen hauled out on off shore rocks, and occasionally on sandy beaches. In addition, sea lions have a loud bark and walk on their large rear flippers versus seals more wriggle on their belly and have smaller rear flippers. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. The other resident eared seal is the Steller, or Northern, sea lion (Eumetopias jubata), a federally threatened species. None; Recommended Prior Activities. Fur seals, actually in the sea lion group, having extremely long hind flippers. Sea lions congregate in gregarious groups called herds or rafts that can reach upwards of 1,500 individuals. Sea lions and fur seals have external ears that protrude from their heads. But seals' furry, generally stubby front feet — thinly webbed flippers, actually, with a claw on each small toe — seem petite in comparison to the mostly skin-covered, elongated fore flippers that sea lions possess. 95531. Seals vs. Sea Lions. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. They spend more time in the water than sea lions do and often lead solitary lives in the wild, coming ashore together only once a year to meet and mate. Harbor seals come in a variety of colors from almost pure white to mottled gray or brown, but usually some form of color patterning is visible. Author: NOAA Third, sea lions are noisy. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. Have you ever wondered about the main differences between seals and their "second cousins," the sea lions? True seals are termed "earless" because they lack an external ear flap, whereas in "eared" seals or sea lions an external ear flap is visible. adaptation. Finally, seals are less social than their sea-lion cousins. Pinnipeds divide their time between near shore terrestrial habitats and the ocean. The sea lion's hind flippers are stronger and more flexible. Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. But seals and sea lions … Usually there's only one subadult animal at a time hauled out on a sandy beach undergoing its annual molt. It's common for scores of them to haul out together and loll about in the sand, comprising an amorphous pile in the noonday sun. California sea lions are the "trained seal" of marine parks and circuses. What Are the Differences Between Seals and Sea Lions? Secondly, sea lions have small flaps for outer ears. Steller males are massive, the largest of the eared seals, weighing in at 1,200 lbs (0.5 metric ton) or greater. This is why scientists refer to species in the family Otariidae as eared seals.
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