Steller Sea Lion Facts
- The term of Steller Sea Lion serves as one of the common names of a particularly impressive variety of mammal. However, this incredible wonder of evolution also goes by the alternate common name of the northern sea lion.
- Yet, its scientific name remains that of the extremely difficult to pronounce term of the Eumetopias jubatus. However, regardless of which name one chooses to use to refer to it, this animal ranks as the largest of all forms of eared seals.
- In point of fact, among the group known to researchers as pinnipeds, it ranks very near the top in terms of sheer physical seize. That’s true since only the walrus and 2 species of elephant seals grow to a larger size than this amazing animal.
- The species bears the common name that it does in honor of the first person to officially recognize the species. That was the well respected German botanist and zoologist, Georg Wilhelm Steller. This fortuitous description occurred in the year 1741.
- Quite sadly, and for reasons that remain undetermined, its numbers have decreased substantially in the past 30 years. This fact, most unfortunately, holds true throughout most of its range. Ongoing research continues to seek a reason, though.
- Therefore, numerous, though sadly, not all, countries have banned the slaughter of these impressive marine creatures. Due to these facts, the IUCN currently lists this magnificent ocean creature as Near Threatened.
- However, the magnificent Steller Sea Lion thankfully now has protection via the Marine Mammal Protection Act in the United States. Fortunately for the species, that country controls the largest portion of its endemic range.
The magnificent Steller Sea Lion inhabits a moderately large portion of the globe. This remains the case, at least, when its range is compared to related species. This holds true partly due to the fact that it inhabits a decidedly northern territory range.
More precisely, though, this awesome wonder of Nature inhabits an area that begins in the vicinity of the Sea of Okhotsk. This territory then roughly extends to an island off the coast of northern California, in the United States, in North America.
These extremely powerful predators most commonly live in areas consisting of various coastal waters throughout their range. Further, the impressive mammals typically congregate in large groups for mating and rearing the young.
Also, this process usually takes place on the beaches of various remote islands. This tends to provide with a relative degree of safety. A single birth remains most common. Nevertheless, multiple births do happen occasionally as well.
As a very highly skilled marine predator, the Steller Sea Lion quite actively and aggressively hunts its prey. In addition, individuals generally feed on a wide range of prey. Yet, this does most typically consist of numerous mid-sized cephalopod and fish species.
However, sometimes individuals of this powerful predator prey on small species of seals. Understandably, its own natural predators remain few, given its size. But, it does occasionally fall victim to certain larger types of shark, as well as the Orca.