Steller Sea LionPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Eumetopias jubatus

The Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) also known as the northern sea lion, is a sea lion of the northern Pacific. It is the sole member of the genus Eumetopias and the largest of the eared seals. Among pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the walrus and the two elephant seals.

In terms of their range, this sea lion thrives from the Kuril Islands and the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia to the Gulf of Alaska in the north, and down to A–o Nuevo Island off central California. Adult animals are lighter in color than most sea lions. That is, they range from pale yellow to tawny and occasionally reddish. Females tend to be slightly lighter than the males. Steller sea lion pups are born almost black, weighing around 50lbs (23kg), and remain dark for several months.

These animals are skilled and opportunistic marine predators. As such, they feed on a wide range of fish and cephalopod species. Though they are near the top of the marine food chain, they are still are susceptible to predation by orcas.

Steller sea lions are common throughout the Pacific Northwest to Alaska. One of the best places in the world to photograph and interact with them is Hornby Island in British Columbia during the winter months.

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