The Endangered Sea Lion: Facts for Kids
Sea Lion Facts
Need sea lions facts? I have information along with pictures, videos and coloring pictures to help teach kids about this endangered species.
Sea lions live in large groups called colonies and are pinnipeds, which means they are marine animals which are fin footed.
Their life span can be 20-30 years, although they don't tend to live as long in the wild as they do in captivity. Two of their biggest predators are sharks and killer whales.
Image by Seven Bedard at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Why are Sea Lions Endangered?
Sea lions are endangered for a variety of reasons. One reason is because of humans. They are hunted as a food source, for their skin and for the oil their body produces.
Another reason is for lack of food due to fishing. If they're aren't fish for them to eat, they can't survive. Sometimes, they are just killed for the so called fun of the sport of hunting.
Image by mikebaird at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Sea Lions Show
Sea lions can be great entertainers. I know how much my kids have loved seeing them at the zoo and particularly at marine themed parks such as Six Flags.
They can be trained to do a variety of tricks such as balancing a ball on what appears to be their nose, blowing a horn, waving a flipper and even giving a kiss.
My family has so many fond memories, which is sad because they are endangered and who knows if future generations will be able to be entertained the way my family has.
Show image by Rparle at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Sea Lion Balancing Ball
Here's a short video of a sea lion balancing a ball. My children have so enjoyed these shows. (I have, too!)
California Sea Lions
When it comes to sea lions, there are 6 different species. There used to be 7, but the Japanese sea lion is now extinct. The species that most people in America are familiar with are the California sea lions.
They live off of the Pacific Coast from Canada down to Mexico and are the kind of sea lions that are mainly seen at marine parks, zoos and circuses.
The picture you see here is of sea lions at Pier 39 which is located in San Francisco, California near the famous Fisherman's Wharf.
I can tell you from personal experience just how fun they are to watch. They don't move around too much, but at time my family visited there, there were two sea lions that kept trying to occupy the same small buoy and kept falling off. It was hilarious!
It's also fun to listen to them make their barking type sounds.
Pier 39 in San Francisco image by TheGirlsNY at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Sea Lion Coloring Pages
I've always liked to include something fun when teaching my kids something new. I personally love coloring pages as a teaching aid because they fun and give kids a chance to be creative.
I've selected a few for you below. All are printable and free. I hope you like them.
Image by cliff1066 at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
What do Sea Lions Eat?
When it comes to food, sea lions are carnivores, which mean they eat meat. They like herring, along with an assortment of other fish. They also enjoy other sea creatures such as squid and crab.
Sometimes, it's difficult for sea lions to find food due to fishing. Another problem sea lions encounter with fishing is that from time to time, one will get caught up in the net.
Sea lion image by Alejandro Hernandez at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Time to cast your vote for your favorite sea lion picture!
Image by tombothetominator at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Image by AndrewH324 at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Image by A. Davey at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Image by Kathleen Tyler Conklin at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Seal Picture Poll
Which picture is your favorite?
Sea Lion Pup Video
Look at this adorable pup.
How Big are Sea Lions?
One thing that amazes me is how agile sea lions are in the water considering how big they are. If you've ever been to an aquarium with an under water window, you know what I mean.
Females average about 200 pounds and are about 6 feet long, while males average around 800 pounds and are about 8 feet long.
Sea lions image by lowjumpingfrog at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Sea Lion Rescue
Thanks to rescue groups and conversationalists, there is hope for the sea lions. In many areas there are laws which protect sea lions from being hunted or harmed by people. There are also areas in which the amount of fishing allowed is limited in order to make sure there is enough food for them to eat.
I look forward to continuing to visit these beautiful creatures with my family as they can be so entertaining to watch and hopefully, with help, they'll be around for a long time.
Beach image by Seven Bedard at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.
Let's see how much you've learned. Try this 5 question quiz.
How did you do on the quiz?
Sea Lion Books
Books are a great way to learn even more. Take a look at these.
Well written with a lot of great information on sea lions. It also has a wonderful rescue story and beautiful illustrations. This has helped many kids with school projects.
This is a true story about a sea lion named Astro who was rescued by the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. Follow his heart warming journey.
Sea Lion Movie Trailer
Take a peek at this trailer. It's such a fun family movie.
This is a remarkable story based on a real life event. There are lots of laughs with this wonderful family movie. You can't beat the price, either.
More Animal Fun
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Information and interesting facts about the endangered species snow leopard including pictures and videos. Snow leopard gift ideas as well.