They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. Ears. Harbor seals . It's a perfectly understandable confusion; these two animals are very similar in a lot of ways. Both types of seals, sea lions and walruses are all considered to be in the suborder Pinnipedia, which is usually translated as \"fin-footed\" or \"feather-footed.\" Pinnipeds (within the order Carnivora) consist of three families. Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service. Sea lions can reach speeds of 25-30 mph! Seals and sea lions are both mammals. Both seals and sea lions, together with the walrus, are pinnipeds, which means "fin footed" in Latin. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. Sea lions regularly gather in groups, which are called rafts (when in water) or colonies (when on land). Finally, seals are less social than their sea-lion cousins. Exactly how fast can seals and sea lions swim? Taxonomy enables scientists to make sense of the millions of kinds of living things and see how they are related. 1. When discussing the difference between the seal vs. sea lion we can find five main differences that have to do with their anatomy and character traits. Dr. Mike Heithaus and others try to tranquillize a lion. But seals and sea lions belong to different families. Students use observation skills to determine taxonomic differences between seals and sea lions. CodyCross is a famous newly released game which is developed by Fanatee. Fur seals are actually eared seals, which belong to family Otariidae. The category which it belongs to contains other three groups which are eared seals (sea lions and fur seals), true or earless seals (common seals) and walrus.\ There is a theory that says that seals have evolved from land-based ancestors such as bears or otters. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact for more information and to obtain a license. Sea lions have small ear flaps. Female mammals produce milk to feed their offspring. You cannot download interactives. The "seals" you may see performing at marine parks are often sea lions. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource. Let’s sort out the taxonomy first. Tell students that the science of classifying organisms into different groups is taxonomy. The "earless" or "true" seals lack external ears altogether. Have students compare the two drawings and list at least two features that seals and sea lions share. Generally more social, living in larger groups; Vocal and noisy; Paddlelike hind flippers can be rotated forward to move across land more easily; Earflaps; Harbor Seals. Seals, like the gray seal and harbor seal, typically have shorter flippers than their sea lion cousins. Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. Gray seals clock in at about 14-23 mph. It has many crosswords divided into different worlds and groups. Pinnipeds are a widely distributed and diverse group of fin-footed semiaquatic marine mammals. Code of Ethics. Below are some key characteristics of San Diego’s sea lions vs. seals, in order of what’s easiest to spot first: Sea Lions These small, plump seals have spotted gray to black coats. Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. Sea lions congregate in gregarious groups called herds or rafts that can reach upwards of 1,500 individuals. Terms of Service |  Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. “Seals” is actually a generalized name for all pinnipeds. Ask students to think of an example of two animals that look similar but belong to different families. In seals, the hind flippers extend directly behind the body, and are not capable of rotation unlike the hind flippers of sea lions that are longer and may be rotated toward the front of the body. Most seals don’t have an external flap at all, but a small ear hole instead. Privacy Notice |  Discuss how these features relate to swimming in cold water. The only thing to tell them apart is, the fur seal has a comparatively shorter face and softer fur; and male sea lions have mane hair on their necks, like the real lions in Africa. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. Sea lions also have a more rounded snout whereas the fur seal has a more pointed nose. Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. 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. Author: NOAA For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. The awkward movement on land is in sharp contrast to their excellent adaptation underwater. Seals are quieter, vocalizing via soft grunts. You can also report sightings of any other seal species spotted in … Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. Sea otters are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws and rest by floating on their back. True seals mainly differ from sea lions and fur seals due to the lack of external ears. Watch the video to find out which species is the fastest, which is the noisiest, and more. By An Qi Share . If you're not a marine scientist or even an aficionado, there's not a whole lot of reason or opportunity to learn what the differences are between a seal and a sea lion. Secondly, sea lions have small flaps for outer ears. The California Sea Lion as pictured […] Have students identify differences.Have students find at least two features that differ in seals and sea lions. Kim Hulse, National Geographic Society Usually more solitary; Tends to be more quiet and shy Quiet and shy, harbor seals can be seen year-round resting on rocks just offshore. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. Sustainability Policy |  Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and lack visible ear flaps. But … Seals, Sea-Lions & Dugongs; Seals, Sea-Lions & Dugongs. They spend more time in the water than sea lions do and often lead solitary lives in the wild, coming ashore together only once a year to meet and mate. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. This causes differences between the two in locomotion when on land: seals move forward by caterpillar-like hitching movements; sea lions use their hind legs to walk or even gallop across land. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. Firstly, seals and sea lions have completely different ears. Seals have little holes on their head, and lacks a pinnae. Start learning with a free trial at Check out Mike's video here! National Geographic Headquarters This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Sea lions, by contrast, are easily spotted on beaches and piers throughout the islands. This is why they are more likely to be employed in aquaria and marine shows. Try differentiating seals from sea lions. 1145 17th Street NW © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. Show them the photo gallery of harbor seals, leopard seals, and California sea lions.2. This activity targets the following skills: The resources are also available at the top of the page. The seals are classified as earless pennipeds while the sea lions are classified as eared pennipeds. Tell them they can confirm or revise their predictions as they watch a video.5. 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. 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. All rights reserved. Seals and sea lions might look similar, but there are key differences between the two species. But seals and sea lions are in different taxonomical families owing to some key anatomical differences. Seals have spotted coats in a variety of shades from white or silver-gray to black or dark brown, while sea lions are brown — their color ranges from chocolate brown in males to a lighter, golden brown in females. Seals vs. sea lions is a difficult topic to grasp, but this article aims to clearly illuminate the difference between these two aquatic beasts. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. When they are wet, fur seals look black, while the sea lions look brown. Seals don't have ears on the outside of their heads, which are sleek and smooth, with small ear holes. You have to get very close to see the tiny holes on the sides of a seal’s sleek head. 4. 3. Sea lions are much more vocal than true … In Chinese, the fur seal is called "sea dog". They can’t “walk” on land the way a sea lion can. The Sea Lon is an extended Pinniped with some new organs grown outwards. Seals have shorter front flippers; sea lions have longer front flippers.) Seals and sea lions share adaptations for living in the sea—including blubber, flippers, and streamlined bodies. Being at home is a great time to learn. Seals and sea lions have many similarities, and are in the same family of Pinnipeds, but they lead very different lives. 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”. Introduce the concept of classification.Discuss why scientists classify animals into different groups. May congregate in larger groups than true seals. Seals use their front flippers to steer, and their back flippers for power. Seals have furry front flippers, with a claw on each small toe. All seals, whales and dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978. Find out Seals and sea lions Answers. Seals. Sea Lions vs. Also, sea lions are just plain noisy, whereas seals are a bit quieter. 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. Pinnipeds are further distributed into the Odobenidae family, which is the walrus; the Otariidae family, which includes eared seals, sea lions, and fur seals; and the Phocidae family, which is the earless seals. Sea lions, on the other hand, look much more adept out of the water. Seal vs sea Lion vs Walrus vs Otter difference & comparison. At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. Seals vs Sea Lions. Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. Taxonomic discussions tend to be a bit muddled as scientists strive to classify all the different species on the planet. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. Discuss how this movement relates to the animals' vulnerability to predators like polar bears and sharks. Seals evolved from two distinct groups of land mammals and are consequently categorised into ‘eared’ seals and true seals. How to cite this article, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses. The sea lion has a … Since they often hang out together, once you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to distinguish between the two. In the La Jolla area, the harbor seals live at Casa Beach, while the sea lions live about a … Have you ever wondered about the main differences between seals and their "second cousins," the sea lions? a modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence. Last updated: 11/13/19 By comparison, seals spend more time in the water and are less likely to be found in groups. 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. Then ask them to compare how each animal uses its flippers on land and in water. Harbor seals are torpedo-shaped and have short flippers. But seals' furry, generally stubby front feet — thinly webbed flippers, actually, with a claw on each small toe — seem petite in comparison to the mostly skin-covered, elongated fore flippers that sea lions possess. Seals also use their back and front flippers differently from sea lions while swimming. Seals vs. Sea Lions I hear this one all the time. When in doubt, here’s an easy guide to tell California sea lions apart from harbor seals: California Sea Lions. Depending on the species, you can find rafts of sea lions basking in the sun in small groups or large groups numbering in the thousands. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Have students use the National Geographic Animals site to research what California sea lions eat, where they find food, and how they eat it. Seals and sea lions share adaptations for living in the sea—including blubber, flippers, and streamlined bodies. Otariids can be broken up further into sea lions and fur seals. Seals were tagged as earless since they do not have ear flaps. Some of the worlds are: Planet Earth, Under The Sea, Inventions, Seasons, Circus, Transports and Culinary Arts. Have students write a paragraph summarizing the information they find. DOC is interested in sightings of New Zealand sea lions, and any tagged New Zealand fur seals. Ask them how they would explain how to tell seals and sea lions apart to someone who has never seen either. Seals and sea lions are actually called fin-footed animals or pinnipedia. San Diego is home to both the California Sea Lion and the Harbor Seal. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. Sea lions can be easily identified most of the time by their external ear flaps (seen in the photo above). Watch and discuss the video.Show students the video of leopard seals. In addition, seals use front flippers to move on land and hind flippers for swimming. To conclude, the article provides a comparison of the seal, sea lion, walrus, and otter with their qualities and the differences they hold from each other. In this article, we consider them as true seals, which belong to family Phocidae. animal with hair that gives birth to live offspring. (Possible answers: Seals do not have ear openings; sea lions do. Seals have 33 kinds of species. An adaptation is passed from generation to generation. Ask students to predict which of these marine mammals could move most easily on land (sea lions). Kristen Dell, National Geographic Society, Sheryl Hasegawa, National Geographic Society She or he will best know the preferred format. The breakdown of these families looks something like this: (Hair, blubber, and flippers all keep animals warm in icy water.)3. Sea lions have larger front flippers, longer and mostly covered in skin. Distribute the worksheet and have students identify similarities.Give each student a copy of the worksheet Seals and Sea Lions: Compare and Contrast. The most notable anatomical differences are the ears and the flippers. They use their flippers like feet and are able to comfortably walk on land. Copied. The northern fur seals at the Aquarium generally have a darker color to their fur than the sea lions. Program. They are warm-blooded marine mammals that could live both in water and on land. Seals are carnivorous mammals and are related to dogs, cats, foxes and bears. Third, sea lions are noisy. The first difference between the seals and sea lions that we will discuss is the shape of their bodies and front fore flippers. When dry, the fur seals lounging on the deck at the marine mammal center look more brown, and their sea lion neighbors will look a golden brown or blonde color. Each world has more than 20 groups with 5 puzzles each. Sea lions and fur seals (members of the eared seal family) have visible ear flaps, while true seals only have ear holes. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. Have students make predictions.Explain to students that seals' rear flippers extend backward; sea lions' rear flippers extend forward. When sea lions swim, they propel themselves through the water using their front flippers. Instead they flop along on their bellies. Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. Seals, on the other hand, build speed with their rear flippers and by moving their lower body side-to-side in a sculling motion. 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. This is why they are more … The main difference between the two is that fur seals have a thicker coat that includes an undercoat. Sea lions (left) are brown, bark loudly, "walk" on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. It's common for scores of them to haul out together and loll about in the sand, comprising an amorphous pile in the noonday sun.
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