1. Eared seal of the southern hemisphere; the thick soft underfur is the source of sealskin.
2. Fur seal of the north Pacific. SYN. fur-seal
Any of several large eared seals of the north Pacific related to fur seals but lacking their valuable coat.
Any of several genera of seals of the family Otariidae (eared seals), which also includes the fur seals. These streamlined animals have large fore flippers which they use to row themselves through the water. The hind flippers can be turned beneath the body to walk on land.
There are two species of sea lion in the northern hemisphere, and three in the south. They feed on fish, squid, and crustaceans. Steller’s sea lion Eumetopias jubatus lives in the N Pacific, large numbers breeding on the Aleutian lslands. Males may be up to 3.4 m/11 ft long, with a thick neck with a characteristic mane, and weigh up to one tonne. Females are one-third the weight. The Californian sea lion Zalophus californianus only reaches 2.3 m/7 ft, and is the species most often seen in zoos and as a “performing seal”.