Wild Fact #901 – The Stoners of the Sea – Stellar Sea Lion

Happy Friday to everyone! I hope all of you had a great week and are ready for another weekend! I just realized that I am only one Fact away from completing the first 100 Wild Facts! Where has the time gone? Before you know it we will be down to the last Fact. Before we get there though let’s take a minute to learn about the Stellar Sea Lion.

The stellar sea lion is the largest of all the sea lions with the males weighing in between 600-1100 kg (1300-2500 pounds).  As you can imagine these large sea lions also have a large appetite and will consume fish, squid, octopus and on some occasions even smaller sea lions, but this is rare. When dry the colour of this sea lion is tan to golden brown and their fur is very coarse.  Once they get wet though, they turn to a dark brown to black colour and the fur becomes smooth and slick that sticks closely to their skin. The hair of the stellar sea lion is important as it will protect the sea lion from cold temperatures of the ocean as well as from jagged rocks. I guess the hair of the sea lion isn’t just a fashion statement like it is with humans.  Although, balding would be more of a threat if we relied on hair as a defense mechanism.

Researchers have noticed that some stellar sea lions have rocks from the size of pebbles all the way to large stones in their stomachs.  It isn’t exactly clear if this is intentional or accidental while catching their prey.  It if is intentional then these rocks may serve several purposes.  For example they may be used to grind up their food or act as a ballast while diving.  As well, some scientists have speculated that these rocks help with extreme hunger pains.  You must be having some bad hunger pain if you are eating stones!

Stellar Sea Lion Fast Fact: The males tend to have a much higher mortality rate then females.  Actually, their lifespan is shorter by 10 years which results in a 3:1 ratio of females to males.  You have to like those odds!

Have a great weekend everyone!

3 Responses

  1. Man Over Board 8 years ago
  2. Man Over Board 8 years ago
    • Nathan Nathan 8 years ago

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