Steller’s Sea Lion

Conservation

Scientific Classification

OrderCarnivora
CladePinnipeedia
FamilyOtarlidae
GenusEumetopias
Binomial nameEumetopias jubatus

Range Map

Range of species in blue

Description

The Steller sea lion, also known as the northern sea lion is a species of sea lion typically found in the northern Pacific. They are considered to be the largest species of eared seals and take their names from the naturalist George Wilhelm Steller, who first described them in the mid-18th century. 

These animals measure about 2.3 to 2.9 meters in length on average and weigh between 240 to 350 kilograms. Males are slightly longer than females and can be distinguished by broader foreheads and thicker hair around their neck.

The range of these seals extends from Russia to the Gulf of Alaska to the Ano Nuevo Island off the coast of Central California. Steller sea lions usually live in the coastal waters of the subarctic and spend most of their time in the water. They are skilled and opportunistic marine predators.

They primarily feed on a wide variety of fish and are hunted by killer whales or great white sharks.