Kingdom: Anamalia (Animals)
- California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)
- Japanese sea lion (Zalophus japonicus)
- Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki)
Until recently, it was believed that the the species were sub species of the Californian sea lion. However, recent studies of DNA suggest that these are three separate species.
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 Japanese sea lion is believed to have become extinct in the 1950s.
California sea lion are a highly social and intelligent species that is well adapted to a semi-aquatic life-style. They are widely used in educational programs in zoos and aquariums throughout the world because of their agility and trainability.
The Galapagos sea lion is found in the Galapagos Archipelago where it is one of the most conspicuous and numerous marine mammals. However, it is considered "endangered."
California sea lion. Source: David Corby/Wikipedia
Galápagos sea lion. Source: Kelley Kane/Wikipedia
Japanese sea lion (stuffed specimen at Tenn?ji Zoo, Osaka, Japan.) Source: Nkensei/Wikipedia based on Wolf et. al. (further reading #10)
- Zalophus japonicus Aurioles, D. & Trillmich, F., 2008, IUCN (accessed April 8, 2009)
- wollebaeki Sivertsen, 1953 Encyclopedia of Life (accessed April 8, 2009)
- Zalophus californianus (Lesson, 1828) Encyclopedia of Life (accessed April 8, 2009)
- Zalophus, Seal Conservation Society (accessed April 8, 2009)
- Zalophus, MarineBio.org (accessed, April 8, 2009)
- Galápagos and Californian sea lions are separate species: Genetic analysis of the genus Zalophus and its implications for conservation management, Wolf, JB; Tautz, D; Trillmich, F, Frontiers in zoology, 2007.
- Archaeology and holocene sand dune stratigraphy on Chatham Island, B. G. McFadgen, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 1994.
- The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses, Marianne Riedman, University of California Press, 1991 ISBN: 0520064984
- Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, Bernd Wursig, Academic Press, 2002 ISBN: 0125513402
- Marine Mammal Research: Conservation beyond Crisis, edited by John E. Reynolds III, William F. Perrin, Randall R. Reeves, Suzanne Montgomery and Timothy J. Ragen, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005 ISBN: 0801882559
- Walker's Mammals of the World, Ronald M. Nowak, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 ISBN: 0801857899