PenguinSpirit

New Zealand Sea Lion - Also called: Hooker's Sea Lion

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Size

Height: Males: 2 m (7 feet) Females: 1.5 m (5.5 to 6 feet) the average adult.

Weight: Males: 200 kg (990 lbs) Females: 40 kg (350 lbs) the average adult.

Description

  • Male: dark olive brown with large roundish head and short muzzle. Heavy coarse hair on huge neck and shoulders.
  • Female: Cream grayish white with darker areas on face and flippers.
  • Both sexes have long abundant whiskers.
  • “Eared” seal, visible earflap.
  • In the water front flippers are used for propulsion while their hind flippers for steering.
  • On land the front flippers can be turned forwards to carry their weight and are used to walk making them agile often galloping along.
  • Pup is born with a black coat.

Feet

  • Pinkish.

Food

  • Feed mainly on squid, octopus, fish, lobster, crabs and occasionally penguins.

Rookeries

  • Breeds on islands and coasts of New Zealand and South Australia.

Breading

  • Adult males haul ashore and establish territories on the beach. Males become mature at approximately 10 years of age, females at 5 years.
  • Returning females or cows are herded together by the dominant males in harems of approximately 5 to 15 females.
  • The males defend their territory and harems from other immature and non-breeding males or bachelors.
  • Females produce one black furry pup in late November.
  • Pups weigh only 4 kg at birth, grow fast and double their weight in about 10 weeks on their mother’s milk.
  • Females locate their pup by vocalizations then confirm the identification with scent cues.
  • Pups stay with their mother for almost 1 year.
  • Non-breeding gathering of seals is called a herd.

Predators

  • Killer whales

Other Facts

  • Colonies are along the southern and eastern coasts of Australia, on the shores of New Zealand, Tasmania and Chatham Islands.

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