Sea lion facts for kids

Fun Sea Lion Facts for Kids

Click here for more animal facts

Sea lions are marine mammals. They live on the land and in the sea/ocean. Sea lions breathe air just like you and me. They can hold their breath for up to 20 mins. Isn’t that amazing?

Sea lions can live in different parts of the world and right here on the western coast of the U.S in California and Alaska. Learn more about sea lions with these sea lion facts for kids.

What is a Sea Lion?

Sea lions are marine mammals. They are pinnipeds like seals and walruses. They are in the Otariidae Family meaning eared seals. Male sea lions are called a bull, female sea lions are called cows, baby sea lions are called pups. Mother sea lions give birth to one baby sea lion at a time.

There are 7 species of sea lions.

Steller Sea Lions: The largest of the sea lion.  Lives in the Northern Pacific mostly around Alaska.

Australian Sean Lions: Lives in the South and West parts of Australia.

South American Sea Lions: Lives mostly near Peru and some live along the South American Coast.

New Zealand Sea Lion: Also known as the Hooker’s Sea Lion.  Lives in South Island and Auckland in New Zealand.

Galapagos Sea Lions: Lives in the Galapagos Island and Isla De La Plata.

Japanese Sea Lion: Extinct

California Sea Lion: Most popular lives mostly in San Francisco California.  This is the sea lion you see that does tricks at theme parks, aquariums, and zoos.

Sea Lion Habitat

Sea lions like the life by sandy shores or rocks by the ocean. The California sea lion is native to the U.S and can be generally found relaxing on rocks along the Pacific coast. In the U.S, California sea lions are the sea lions you see at marine shows at aquariums and zoos.

Sea lions are social animals and live in groups called a herd or a raft.

What do Sea Lions Look Like?

Sea lions are large mammals. They have large bodies that are dark brown and four flippers. Males are darker than females.

They have two long front flippers that point outward and two back flippers called hind flippers that point inward. Sea lions walk using all four flippers.

Sea lions have two external ear flaps and short thick hair.

Male sea lions are larger than females. A male sea lion can weigh up to 800 pounds and be 9 feet long. A female sea lion can weigh up to 400 pounds and be 6 feet long.

Sea lions’ nostrils are used to breathe in air (oxygen). Their nostrils close when they dive into the water and when they are relaxing.

Sea lions have long whiskers on their face. Their whiskers are called vibrissa. Sea lions use their whiskers to help them hunt in the water.

Sea lions have big eyes and good vision.

What do Sea Lions Eat?

Sea Lions are carnivores meaning they eat meat. They eat a variety of fish, crustaceans, octopuses, squid, and mollusks.

Sea lions love food! Male sea lions can eat 30-45 pounds of food every day. Female sea lions can eat 15-25 pounds of food every day.

Are Sea Lions good swimmers?

Sea lions are excellent swimmers and spend time on both lands and in the water. Sea lions can swim up to 22 miles per hour. They have the ability to dive down 1,000 feet into the water.

Baby Sea Lions

Female sea lions are ready to have babies when they reach 3 years old. Males can mate when they turn 5. The breeding season takes place in late spring through early summer. females with birth to one single pup.

A pup is around 15 pounds when they are born. Pups do not know how to swim when they are born.  They learn to swim on their own when they are a couple of weeks old.

Sea Lion Facts for Kids

  • There are seven species of sea lions.
  • Sea lions can hold their breathe for up to 20 minutes.
  • Female sea lions give birth to one pup.
  • Sea lions live in large groups called herds or rafts.
  • Sea Lions can swim up to 22 miles per hour.
  • They can dive up to 1,000 feet!
  • Sea lions can be trained to do tricks and are often in marine animal shows at zoos and aquariums.
  • They can walk on all four flippers.
  • The life span for a sea lion is 25-35 years in captivity and 10-15 years in the wild.
  • A mother sea lion is pregnant for 12 months. They give birth on land.
  • Sea Lions sleep on land.
  • They can see well above and underwater.
  • Sea lions have short thick hair.
  • They communicate using sounds such as barks.
  • Sea Lions cannot smell underwater.
  • Sea lions generally do not have aggressive actions towards humans.

Conservation status

Some species of sea lions are on the endangered species list. These include the Steller Sea Lion that lives along the coast of Alaska. Sea lions are a protected species.

Predators include sharks, and killer whales (orca)

Sea lion Printable Coloring Page