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The Endangered Sea Lion: Facts for Kids

Updated on November 16, 2014

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 Lion Picture
Sea Lion Picture

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 Show
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

California Sea Lions
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

Sea Lions Picture
Sea Lions Picture

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.

Sea Animals Coloring Book

Sea Animals (Dover Nature Coloring Book)
Sea Animals (Dover Nature Coloring Book)

Here's a fun coloring book for kids who like sea animals. It includes dolphin, sea shell, whale and more coloring sheets. If you like, you can even see some sample pages.

 

What do Sea Lions Eat?

Picture of a Sea Lion
Picture of a Sea Lion

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!

Picture #1

Sea Lion Image
Sea Lion Image

Image by tombothetominator at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Picture #2

Sea Lion Face
Sea Lion Face

Image by AndrewH324 at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Picture #3

Sea Lion Pup Picture
Sea Lion Pup Picture

Image by A. Davey at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Picture #4

Sea Lions on Rock
Sea Lions on Rock

Image by Kathleen Tyler Conklin at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

Seal Picture Poll

Which picture is your favorite?

See results

Sea Lion Pup Video

Look at this adorable pup.

How Big are Sea Lions?

Sea Lion Swimming
Sea Lion Swimming

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

Sea Lion on Beach
Sea Lion on Beach

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.

Quiz Poll

How did you do on the quiz?

See results

Sea Lion Books

Books are a great way to learn even more. Take a look at these.

Sea Lion
Sea Lion

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.

 
Astro: The Steller Sea Lion
Astro: The Steller Sea Lion

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.

Andre DVD

Andre
Andre

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.

 

What do you think of sea lions?

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    • profile image

      moses chen 8 months ago

      Thanks for all this info. I think your facts are awesome.

    • Daniel S Powell profile image

      Daniel S Powell 2 years ago

      The California Sea lion is not endangered, they are over populated. From NOAA http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/mediacente...

    • NoProblemmo profile image

      NoProblemmo 3 years ago

      These are too cute!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @TanoCalvenoa: I love watching them there.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I love these animals. I've watched them at beaches numerous times, and I've watched them for an hour or more at Pier 39 in SF as well.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @kiwikitkat: Actually, that's Pier 39. I hope you have a great visit. Be sure to check out Fisherman's Wharf as well.

    • kiwikitkat profile image

      kiwikitkat 4 years ago

      Gorgeous pictures and great lens. I'm going to California end of next month and I'll be heading to Wharf 39.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Palitra27: Yes, they are.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: It's sad that there are so many of them and that mankind is the reason for so many of them.

    • Palitra27 profile image

      Palitra27 4 years ago

      I love animals. Sea lions are very beautiful

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      It is absolutely unbelievable that there are endangered species. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: I agree.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @hildiid lm: Thanks!

    • ValerieJoy profile image

      Valerie Smith 4 years ago from New Zealand

      This is a fantastic lens. Although I'm well past being a kid I've really enjoyed reading all the great information you provide. There is obviously a lot that I didn't know about sea lions, including their size; I didn't realise that they are so large.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @ValerieJoy: Thank you very much for taking the time to visit this lens and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: They do have quite cute noses.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Elyn MacInnis: They do have quite cute noses.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I've seen the California Sea Lion (when I lived in California) and they are truly amazing creatures. As with all endangered species, let's hope the Sea Lion becomes protected enough for us and our future generations to continue to enjoy.

    • hildiid lm profile image

      hildiid lm 4 years ago

      Amazing, you did a great job.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I like their noises. But not too close! And their sweet faces. How dear they are. I have to admit I am glad I have hands and legs, but if I was a sea lion I wouldn't care! Thanks for all your fun information.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @knights93: Honestly, there are lots of things to read for kids that I enjoy myself. I hope your nephew enjoys it.

    • knights93 profile image

      knights93 4 years ago

      This is such a great lens, I know it's for kids but I found my self really getting into it! I'm going to show this to my nephew when I next see him (:

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @atomicgirl24: Oh, you should see it in person. It is such a sight!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
      Author

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Congrats on getting 100% on the quiz. WTG!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @TolovajWordsmith: They must be fun to watch.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      We have a pair of them in Ljubljana's ZOO and are among main attractions.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @takkhisa: Thank you my kind little brother!

    • profile image

      atomicgirl24 4 years ago

      That Pier 39 picture (with the sea lions sunbathing) is amazing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I got a fin clapping 100% on you quiz and plenty to smile about, I've never seen them live but have enjoyed many documentaries on them and always root for them when a polar bear breaks the ice to get one...but then, like my grandma said, everyone has to eat! Congratulations and you did and excellent Getting Personal! :)

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      We have a pair of them in Ljubljana's ZOO and are among main attractions.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Big sister..what a nice lens you have created! It is awesome and Congrats on the Purple Star :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @opatoday: Thank you for your congrats and compliment!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @LoriBeninger: I don't understand it, either. Having done animal rescue work, I just can't understand how people can be so cruel to animals.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @DANCING COWGIRL: Thanks for your support!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @LaptopLeader: Thank you!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: They are really so much fun.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @Ardyn25: I really appreciate your kind words. I'm a big animal lover.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @paperfacets: I really think they are such a fun tourist attraction.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image
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      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      @DuaneJ: I'm glad you did, too!

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      First Congratulations on your Purple Star second this was an amazing lens

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your Purple Star -- especially for a lens about such an important subject. I have a particular fondness for animals, just as you do...I don't understand how the human race can treat them as we do.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      Congrats on the Purple Star. I was just here last night and liked it. Yeeeee Hawwww for you!!

    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      Congratulations on the purple star!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      The world would be less complete without sea lions. Thanks for teaching me more about this one-of-a-kind species. I always love expanding my horizons, especially when it comes to endangered species.

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 4 years ago

      They are adorable, it breaks my heart to know they are struggling, but then it makes me happy that organizations and people like you are putting out valuable information on these beautiful creatures. A very informative, well put together lens, Janice.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 4 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I love the sea loins at Pier 39. They are very entertaining, even though it is stinky, and may have brought the pier down as a destination for some people. I am glad the city did not order them out.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 4 years ago

      Sea lions are so cute! I'm glad I stopped by :-)