Sea Lions VS Harbor Seals: I finally figured out the difference.

My dad read my last Sea Lion Stalker post, and he pointed out that the giant Point Lobos ones are not sea lions at all. They are HARBOR SEALS.

“What?” No way. I asked the pro on the boat. She didn’t tell me that……

I didn’t ask that exactly, though….

So I went in to full research mode online to ascertain the FACTS.

Turns out Dad is right. Why does that always happen???  😉

Point Lobos boasts harbor seals, elephant seals (Those are super ugly, but we will love them anyway), as well as the sea lions.

Scroll down to learn which is which.

This is my last post, with CORRECTIONS:

I was taking my weekly stroll on the beach. It never fails. I always find either an otter or a sea lion whenever I go to the beach here. It’s so fantastic. This particular guy was swimming super close to shore. I decided to follow him. Don’t worry I didn’t go full on crazy and break a bunch of laws by diving in after him. I simply followed him on the shore. The cool part??  He noticed! He came over and checked me out! He stuck his head up, up and looked at me. I looked at him, and stuck my neck up, up too. Then he dove back in. Then he streeeeeeetched his neck up for one more look. I stretched my neck too—and I squealed. For some reason this is just so fun to me. Then he decided that he’d come as close as he should, and he dove off into the opposite direction. Such a great day! Now before I share all these sea lion (Please don’t call me the crazy sea lion lady….) photos, let me tell you what we did today:  WHALE WATCHING TOUR. Not even kidding. It was amazing. We saw whales, and we saw sea lions galore, and I loved every second. The kids got to go too. They whooped and smiled and laughed and learned. And when it was all over, I asked the marine biologist all the questions about sea lions that I’ve been dying to ask. Yes!!!

By the way, the sea lion buddy I made at the beach was truly a sea lion.

sealionbulls I asked her, “Why are the sea lions at Point Lobos so huge and different colored, and the ones in Monterey Bay are often smaller and just black/brown?” She said, “Those at Point Lobos are older bulls. They are all males. These in the bay are the youngsters.” Fascinating!

Only that’s NOT THE CASE WITH THESE GUYS. These guys are big fat harbor seals.

The difference? 1. the pattern on their skin

2. the size of their flippers  Seals have much smaller fins.

oldsea lion bull cool photo old sea lions

I love these harbor seals.

pretty sea lion team sea lion

a mother seal and pup

The biologist told us that 90% of Monterey Bay area sea lions are males. The ladies tend to hang out in the warmer water. I don’t know if that’s true for the seal population.
Look closely. Those rocks are CRAWLING in sea lions. The noise and smell is overpowering. At night, we can hear them as we go to sleep. Really!

This is a perfect example of what a sea lion looks like, and they are excellent at walking on land, with their long flippers. The poor seals lack that advantage.

Caleb has joined me in my stalker-ness. He insisted on getting as close to this one as we could to take a picture. I have lots of whale and even an otter photo to share with you on my next post, so come back soon! 🙂

Well, we learn something new everyday!

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” Genesis 1: 20-23


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