Ever wondered why they are called Sea Lions?

April 14th, 2012 –  Whidbey Island, Washington

On a recent Gray Whale watching cruise the boat came across a Steller Sea Lion sunbathing peacefully on a buoy just off Possession Point on the southern end of Whidbey Island. These are the largest Sea Lion species in this area and also one of the rarest to see as they are a shy creature and also sadly on the threatened species list due to a massive population decline.

Steller Sea Lion

Steller Sea Lion

It is hard to believe these large but docile looking creatures have been named after a fierce predator like the Lion.

Steller Sea Lion

But there is a very good reason why!

Further north in Whidbey Island in the little seaside town of Coupeville they have some interesting local wildlife displays on the landing jetty.

Coupeville Washington

Check out those choppers!

Steller Sea Lion Skeleton

Steller Sea Lion Skeleton

The Steller Sea Lion is an opportunistic predator feeding on a wide variety of fish, octopus, squid and things like sea snails and sea slugs.

Steller Sea Lion Skeleton

This particular one “Samson” was 8’4″ long and was estimated to have weighed 544kg / 1,200 pounds.

A large male can weigh up to around 1,000kg /2,200 pounds!

Steller Sea Lion Skeleton

Looking at those fangs and the size of “Samson” it is clear to see why they are called a Sea Lion!


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Say Gudday says:

    As a fellow Aussie wandering the USA I’d like to say Gudday! I see sea lions all the time (I’m a sailor) and I gotta say, now that I’ve seen one without it’s skin on, I will never look at them the same again. I once saw an epic sea lion vs flock of gulls sea battle that amused me for hours.

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks for taking a look. Yeah they look so much more deadly when you see them that way. Thats funny with the seagulls! I have only seen them battle with Bald Eagles around here!

      1. Say Gudday says:

        Where’s do you hail from in OZ?

      2. Deano says:

        Victoria – How about you?

  2. good thing they don’t bite us humans….or do they? XD

    1. Deano says:

      Only if you annoy them 😉

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