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Differences between sea lion, seal and walrus

Both a sea lion, a seal or a walrus are carnivorous mammals belonging to the superfamily of pinnipeds, so they have many common characteristics, but also others that differentiate them. Within this superfamily, the three are divided into three families: otáridos (sea lions), pócidos (seals) and odobenidos (walruses). As they can sometimes appear very similar in appearance, depending on their age or sex, in this AgroCorrn article, we will talk about the differences between sea lion, seal and walrus . Take note and learn to differentiate them all easily.

You may also be interested in: How sea turtles reproduce
  1. Characteristics of sea lions or sea lions
  2. Characteristics of seals
  3. Characteristics of walruses
  4. Main differences between sea lion, seal and walrus

Characteristics of sea lions or sea lions

As we said at the beginning, the sea lion is a pinniped mammal . The sea lion has a body very adapted to conserving heat, since it lives submerged at very low temperatures. This characteristic is due to a thick layer of fat under the skin that serves to store energy, but also for swimming. In addition, they have a more divided tail than their relatives, so they use it better on land to get around than they do, and they have small ears , as seen in the photo, while the other two animals do not.

The sea lion is capable of diving 200 meters deep and staying up to 40 minutes without having to go out to breathe, as they are mammals and need to breathe air and not under water, and can reach up to 40 km / h swimming, although on land they are much slower and spend hours lying in the sun.

They are animals that live in colonies, but they can fight each other, because they are very territorial animals and for mating reasons. Females give birth after 11 months of gestation. Its distribution territory is very varied, but always very close to the coast, and can be found in New Zealand, Canada and Japan, among other areas. Although there are also species that live in less cold waters, so they have a lower percentage of fat than their relatives, and they inhabit coastal waters of Mexico, San Francisco and the Galapagos Islands, among other places.

Its diet is carnivorous, it feeds on squid, penguins, fish, baby seals or birds and its main predators are killer whales and large sharks.

Characteristics of seals

Seals are marine mammals called pinnipeds of the Phocid family, highly adapted to aquatic life, although they can also live for short periods on land. They are animals that lack an auditory pinna or ears and with rear extremities facing backwards, which are used for swimming. It is precisely these limbs that differentiate them from sea lions.

The body of the seal is very elongated with short, flattened forelimbs that they use as flippers. Another difference with sea lions is that their fur is shorter (and sometimes absent), but it is usually denser when they are adults. Like sea lions or lions, they have a layer of fat under their skin, which in the case of the seal is so thick that it can constitute up to a quarter of its weight.

The range of seals is also extensive, although they generally prefer colder areas to warmer ones. Seals in cold areas feed more (to maintain their body fat) than those in warmer areas. They usually live in areas near the coast and seals in warm climates are the most threatened.

Seals are carnivorous animals that feed on many kinds of fish, but also squid, shellfish or octopus. They are animals with good eyesight and that detect their prey well, which they capture with their large teeth. Its greatest predators are whales and sharks, although its greatest threat is humans. We recommend you read this other AgroCorrn article about Endangered Seals .

Characteristics of walruses

Walruses are pinniped marine mammals of the odobenidae family. Both females and males have large and long tusks (longer in males), which they use to defend themselves, fight during mating season and to move in wooded and icy areas. Their skin is usually tan or brown in color, but in colder waters they become white and in warm waters, a pink color. The longest-lived walruses progressively lose their color, until they become whiter. Walruses also have a layer of fat under their skin. In addition, walruses have up to 700 whiskers (or vibrissae) around their snouts.

Walruses are carnivorous animals, feeding on shrimp, crabs, mollusks, crustaceans, gastropods, sea cucumbers, clams, and other soft animals. In addition, they can feed on seal carcasses. Since they do not have a good sense of sight, they use their vibrissae to detect their prey. Their biggest predators are polar bears and killer whales, although man is one of their biggest threats.

They reproduce under water and their gestation lasts between 15 and 16 months. After the elephant seal, they are the largest pinnipeds.

Main differences between sea lion, seal and walrus

As we can see, these three families have common characteristics and others that differentiate them. These are the main differences between sea lions, seals and walruses :

  • Regarding size, by far, walruses are the largest of the three, while seals are the smallest.
  • Sea lions are the most social of the three.
  • In addition, walruses have large tusks that do not have seals or sea lions.
  • Sea lions have more fur on their bodies, small ears and live seasonally on land.
  • Seals do not have ears, they have small openings that are the entrance to their ears, but they do have rear extremities, which make them animals very adapted to the aquatic environment.

If you want to read more articles similar to Differences between sea lion, seal and walrus , we recommend that you enter our category of Wild animals .

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