New Zealand sea lion. Source: Roger Kirkwood/WoRMS/Encyclopedia of Life
Kingdom: Anamalia (Animals)
Phocarctos is a genus of just one species (a “monotypic” genus) within the eared seal family of sixteen species - the New zealand sea lion. Eared seals include sea lions and fur seals. Together with the families of true seals and Walruses, Eared seals form the group of marine mammals known as pinnipeds.
Eared seals differ from the true seals in having small external earflaps and hind flippers that can be turned to face forwards. Together with strong front flippers, this gives them extra mobility on land and an adult fur seal can move extremely fast across the beach if it has to. They also use their front flippers for swimming, whereas true seals use their hind flippers.
The New Zealand sea lion is found only in New Zealand and breeds almost exclusively on New Zealand's subantarctic islands, in particular Dundas Island in the Auckland Islands where over 95% of all New Zealand sea lion are born in three close colonies. The species is considered "vulnerable" because of its restricted number and close proximity of breeding sites.
For details see New zealand sea lion.
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