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Ask them how they would explain how to tell seals and sea lions apart to someone who has never seen either. Science Trends is a popular source of science news and education around the world. In some species, the males have longer hair on their necks, similar to a lions mane. Kim Hulse, National Geographic Society Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Leopard seals are second only amongst seal species to elephant seals in terms of size. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. They also engage in shoving matches, slamming into each other. The pup can recognize its mother by her distinct vocalization, and it likewise has its own unique vocalization that the mother can recognize. Taxonomy enables scientists to make sense of the millions of kinds of living things and see how they are related. The sea lion definitely has the weight advantage. Seals, sea lions and walruses are marine mammals and belong to the order pinnipedia. Seals, like the gray seal and harbor seal, typically have shorter flippers than their sea lion cousins. Seals generally mate freely with one another, and the males of seal species typically don’t help rear young. But seals and sea lions are in different taxonomical families owing to some key anatomical differences. The ringed seal is … New Zealand examples include the leopard seal and southern elephant seal. We love feedback :-) and want your input on how to make Science Trends even better. We know that leopard seals are large, formidable predators, but exactly what they’re doing below the waterline has long remained a mystery. Then ask them to compare how each animal uses its flippers on land and in water. There are at least 18 species of true seals, including the spotted seal, the grey seal, the bearded seal, the leopard seal, the northern elephant seal, and the Hawaiian monk seal. Sea lions are part of the family Otariidae, along with fur seals. Third, sea lions are noisy. How can you tell the two apart? The family otariidae contains 14 species, including the fur seals and sea lions. (Hair, blubber, and flippers all keep animals warm in icy water.)3. Don’t say goodbye. Their loose jaw can open as far as 160 Source: Sea Lion Eating a Leopard Shark, SD Expeditions. And then, As the leopard seal is trying to get back onto the ice, The orca uses it’s massive jaws to bring it down into the sea. The seal is a true predator. 1145 17th Street NW If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to obtain a license. Seals have more oxygen in their blood than just about any animal on land, which enables these feats. Sign up for our science newsletter! 3. Seals vs Sea lions: The taxonomy of seal-ish things All of these things are pinnipeds – a sub-group of the order Carnivora. Seals are much more quiet than the vocal sea lions and only move on land by wiggling on their bellies, whereas sea lions are able to “walk” using their flippers. The pinniped suborder has 33 species in three families. Being at home is a great time to learn. Sea lions (and seals) go through a protracted pregnancy period, with the females carrying their young in utero for approximately 340 days. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. In brief, sea lions are capable of walking on all fours, tend to be a little larger, and have discernable ear flaps. Otariid species are typically more upright when on land, and can move with reasonable agility. Their bodies are built for more energy-efficient swimming than sea lions, meaning that they can swim for longer periods of time. SEALS AND SEA LIONS are marine mammals known as pinnipeds; there are 33 species worldwide. Besides, when swimming, the seal mainly uses the hind flippers as thrusters; the sea lion swims with its front fins, with hind flippers acting as rudders. Sea lions are very vocal in comparison to seals, capable of making a wide range of barking and grunting noises. The colder the water is, the more blubber that the sea lions need to keep warm. This activity targets the following skills: The resources are also available at the top of the page. Show them the photo gallery of harbor seals, leopard seals, and California sea lions.2. Behind the Scenes of Our January 2021 Special Issue, ‘2020: The Year in Pictures’ But now, thanks to National Geographic grantee Douglas Krause, we’re getting an underwater glimpse into leopard seals’ carnivorous lives—and the seal-on-seal battles are a sight to behold. The also hunt Hump Backed Whale calves, and Great White Sharks. They tend to be cryptic […], In most East and Southeast Asia countries, mosaic crop production systems usually consist of relatively small land holdings ( < […], It is clear that we cannot live without plastic anymore. * The leopard seal is a couple of feet longer. “I believe that these sea lions that are washing up along the coast are actually acting as important canaries in the coal mine, warning us of some ocean changes that contribute in fact to human health.” — Frances Gulland. Sea lions also have a more rounded snout whereas the fur seal has a more pointed nose. Ask students to think of an example of two animals that look similar but belong to different families. Apart from these periods of hunting a pup and its mother may stay by each other’s side for as long as two years before the young sea lion will venture off on its own. The sea lions rear flippers can be rotated under its body to walk very efficiently on land. Leopard seal feeding behavior is most easily seen when preying on penguins. Males measure about 20 feet long (6 meters), while females are about half as long. The bodies of seals are built to withstand pressure and minimal oxygen levels, letting them dive to impressive depths of 1000 feet and remain underwater for more than an hour. This curated collection for learners in grades 3-5 can be implemented at home with minimal supplies and includes engaging, fun, and skill-building lessons in social studies, geography, science, and more. The orca wins. National Geographic Headquarters Privacy Notice | If you have ever seen an They share their Otariidae family with their fur seal cousins (again, not true seals). Leopard seals have unique cheek teeth that are shaped to allow them to strain krill from the water. Sea lions who make their homes in warmer, tropical waters like the South American sea lion, tend to be smaller than those which make their home in colder waters. Fossils suggest they diverged into a separate family from other pinnipeds around 15-20 million years ago. Tell them they can confirm or revise their predictions as they watch a video.5. It's even possible that a seal might to try to reproduce with a sea lion. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. Eared seals are the 16 species that are commonly named sea lions because of the males manes and fur seals because of their dense underfur for which they were heavily persecuted. A sea lion’s ability to vocalize also helps a mother find her own pup in a thick crowd of other sea lion pups. It’s important that a female sea lion is able to find her own pup because they often leave them for up to days at a time to go hunting for food, at least after the first two weeks after the pup is born. 10 leopard seal facts that may surprise you If your thirst for adventure leads you to Antarctica, you may be lucky enough to cross paths with a leopard seal while you’re there. Fourth, while both species spend time both in and out of the water, seals are better adapted to live in the water than on land. Besides, when swimming, the seal mainly uses the hind If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. Discuss how this movement relates to the animals' vulnerability to predators like polar bears and sharks. The Galapagos fur seal belongs to a genus of fur seals called Arctocephalus (or Arctophoca), meaning bear-headed. You cannot download interactives. Start learning with a free trial at https://skl.sh/tierzoo7Check out Mike's video here! Have students compare the two drawings and list at least two features that seals and sea lions share. “The biggest predator of fish like cod is other fish – and seals keep fish like that in check.” — Paul Watson. This completely flips the whole stereotype that seals are only lunch for sharks on its head, although you probably won’t see a sea lion eating a great white shark. The sea lion's hind flippers are stronger and more flexible. This lists the logos of programs or partners of, National Geographic Animals: California Sea Lion, explain why scientists classify animals into different groups, identify the similarities and differences between seals and sea lions, describe how the similarities help the animals to swim in cold water, Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector, Speakers. The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes was famous (infamous?) Phocids, true seals, swim on their side, twisting their bodies and using their hind flippers to propel themselves through the water while the steer themselves with their fore flippers. 2. The remaining carcass is then eaten. Seals have shorter front flippers; sea lions have longer front flippers.) When comparing a sea lion vs. seal you can spot the difference a few ways, one of which is the lack or presence of an ear. Leopard seals heads and front flippers are extremely large in comparison to other phocids. As the sea ice melts ever earlier in the season, swimming to escape predators becomes even harder. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Sea lions need to eat quite a bit of meat every day to thrive, sometimes consuming up to 50 pounds of squid or fish in a single day. Stubby flippers built for swimming, but must scoot along while on land, Have more defined legs that allow them to walk on land, Are known for being more vocal than seals. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. "This is very weird because it's hair and feathers, mammals and birds," he … The other resident eared seal is the Steller, or Northern, sea lion (Eumetopias jubata), a federally threatened species. A quick look at Youtube says yeas they do. When comparing a sea lion vs. seal you can spot the difference a few ways, one of which is the lack or presence of an ear. Christina Riska Simmons, Mary C. Cahill, Middle School Science Coordinator, The Potomac School, McLean, VA, Special thanks to the National Geographic Museum, adapted from National Geographic “Crittercam Educator Activities”. 'The leopard seal gets into the shallow bay just before low tide and pretends to be a rock, placing its head in the water,' said Mr Nachoum, 63, who is a keen observer of the muscular predators. The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), also referred to as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the southern elephant seal). Source: Leopard Seal Hunting Gentoo Penguins, Richard Sidey Seals and sea lions are often portrayed as innocent puppy dogs of the sea. They can rotate under the sea lion's body and support it, enabling the sea lion to "walk" with the flippers on land. In terms of communication, seals tend to be quieter than sea lions. Pinnipeds are split into three families – True Seals (Phocidae); Eared Seals (Otariidae) and the Walrus (the sole member of Odobenidae). The most notable anatomical differences are the ears and the flippers. Give each student a copy of the worksheet Seals and Sea Lions: Compare Better than double the weight. This comes in handy during the mating season when the male sea lions will compete for territory (and thus breeding partners) by roaring and barking at one another, attempting to frighten each other off. Ask students to predict which of these marine mammals could move most easily on land (sea lions). They are more mobile on land than true seals, though they can’t swim for as long as true seals can. 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But seals and sea lions belong to different families. “Every March, up to 200,000 harp seal pups are born on sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. orca leopard seal - YouTube. The largest is the southern elephant seal. We're sorry to hear that! Terms of Service | The family phocidae is made up of the 'true seals' and contains species such as the leopard seal and the southern elephant seal. While they are often food for sharks, they are also deadly predators, especially in the cold climates like Antarctica. Prove you're human, which is bigger, 2 or 8? All are carnivores that hunt at sea — often for fish and squid — and breed on land; mostly in large, noisy colonies. Have students use the National Geographic Animals site to research what California sea lions eat, where they find food, and how they eat it. Code of Ethics. The general size of a sea lion will vary depending on its habitat. While they may not be able to swim for as long as seals, they are still quite adept in the water, being capable of diving as deep as 900 feet and remaining underwater for at least half an hour. There are 18 species of true seals, according to Seals World. Sea lions and fur seals (seals with thick fur that are more similar to sea She or he will best know the preferred format. Introduce the concept of classification.Discuss why scientists classify animals into different groups. Dr. Mike Heithaus and others try to tranquillize a lion. New Zealand examples are the New Zealand fur seal and New Zealand sea lion. (Possible answers: Seals do not have ear openings; sea lions do. How Many Months Of The Year Have 28 Days? They communicate through quieter grunts and whines than sea-lions, who are known for their loud barks. Sea lions are much more vocal than seals, have visible ear flaps, have more defined “legs” that allow them to walk on land, and are more social than seals. Discuss how these features relate to swimming in cold water. Also, sea lions are just plain noisy, whereas seals are a bit quieter. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. The presence of the La Jolla Cove seals and sea lions is being threatened by local litigation that sees the seal odor as hurting nearby commercial interests. 4.  It feeds on a wide range of prey including cephalopods, other … That’s the short answer, but let’s go over the two animals in more detail, as it will help distinguish the two from one another. The Japanese sea lion went extinct in the 1950s. Using Crittercam® scientists try to learn about the leopard seal's hunting tactics. The captured bird is thrashed about on the water until its skin peels away. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". They have external ears, hind flippers they can turn forward under the body and walk on and no fur on the under side of their flippers. Seals tend to migrate back and forth between feeding grounds and breeding ground, and they may travel thousands of miles a year, like some other aquatic species. The smallest is the ringed seal, with an average length of 5 feet (1.5 m) and a weight of 110 to 150 lbs. Eared seals include fur seals and sea lions. Want more Science Trends? Also, sea lions are just plain noisy, whereas seals are a bit quieter. Have students compare the two drawings and list at least two features that seals and sea lions share. The other resident eared seal is the Steller, or Northern, sea lion (), a federally Seals also are suited to spend more time in the water than sea lions, which can "walk" on shore with their large flippers and spend time in large social groups. (50 t… What are the differences between the two animals? (907.18 kg). Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and … They can be found all around the globe, from subarctic water to warmer tropical waters. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. Seals have stubby front flippers, which means they have to scoot along on their stomachs when on land. They are uniformly dark brown and vocalize with the notable sea lion "bark". For the seal, see Leopard Seal. PLA22-21 The Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp cruise offers you a myriad of ways to explore and enjoy the Antarctic Region. That's great to hear! Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear flaps, long foreflippers, the ability to walk on all fours, short, thick hair, and a big chest and belly.Together with the fur seals, they comprise the family Otariidae, eared seals, which contains six extant and one extinct species (the Japanese sea lion… This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. The sea lion's hind flippers are stronger and more flexible. Leopard Seal This article is about the character. The answer is 1, […]. Tell students that the science of classifying organisms into different groups is taxonomy. for arguing that human beings necessarily always act in their own self-interest. Students use observation skills to determine taxonomic differences between seals and sea lions. 2. California sea lions are the "trained seal" of marine parks and circuses. New Zealand examples are the New Zealand fur seal and New Zealand sea lion. Program. We help hundreds of thousands of people every month learn about the world we live in and the latest scientific breakthroughs. Show them the photo gallery of harbor seals, leopard seals, and California sea lions. Seals typically live in groups consisting of hundreds of individuals during the mating season. We cover everything from solar power cell technology to climate change to cancer research. Plastic has become an essential material for our life, from […], You may be wondering how many months of the year only have 28 days in them. Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. In addition, sea lions have a loud bark and walk on their large rear flippers versus seals more wriggle on their belly and have smaller rear flippers. 1. And, It eats the dead seal. They can rotate under the sea lion's body and support it, enabling the sea lion to "walk" with the flippers on land. Sea lions are a very sexually dimorphic species, meaning that there are substantial differences in size and appearance between the females and males of the species. New Zealand examples include the leopard seal and southern elephant seal. frogs and salamanders) are not a part of everyday life. “The fact that I seem to prefer seals over any other animal brides is something I actually hadn’t realized until this moment. Pinnipeds are those animals that spend a lot of time on both the shore of a landmass and in the ocean, and they include walruses along with sea lions and seals. The sea lion has a big weight advantage. Let’s sort out the taxonomy first. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. They have powerful front flippers used for swimming. As horrible as it is, but one really easy way to tell them apart comes to us courtesy of the Discovery Channel. The leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), also referred to as the sea leopard, is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic (after the southern elephant seal).Its only natural predator is the killer whale. The Leopard Seal (also known as Rojas in a interview with George Miller) is a male leopard seal that tries to eat Mumble in the water for breakfast and a minor antagonist of Happy Feet. Want to know more? The Galapagos fur seal and the Galapagos sea lion are actually quite closely related, and come from the same family: “Otariidae” which means “eared seal”.
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