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Sea Lions

Escrito por E. S. Editor 1 en Lunes, 02 Marzo 2015. Publicado en Beaches, Islands, Living at Baja, Marine life , Scuba diving, Tourist attraction

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The California sea lion is characterized by a robust body, a long neck and a narrow face. Adult males are distinguished by the presence of a sagittal crest that develops in the skull, which can measure about 4 cm.

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This crest begins to grow when males reach 5 years old, and is fully developed when they reach age 10. They reach a length of 2.4 m and a weight of 360 kg, while females reach measuring about 1.5 m long and weigh on average 115 kg. Meanwhile the young are born measuring 0.8 m and weigh between 4.5 and 6 kg. They have between 20 and 30 years of life expectancy.

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At birth they are a dark color, almost black, the adults varies from light brown chocolate when they are dry, to black when are wet. In Mexico, females are lighter than males.

Sea lions are carnivores and very smart and opportunistic. They feed on squid, octopus, herring, rockfish, mackerel, crabs, clams, lobster and small sharks. Usually do not chew their food, swallow big bites, but break the shells of crustaceans with their back planes teeth. They usually feed near the surface of the sea and up to 25 feet away. Their predators are orcas and the dreaded white sharks.

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These curious animals have keen eyesight, because their large eyes help them compensate for low levels of light in the underwater environment, but do not see color, and whiskers increase their sense of touch.

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They are very sociable and are found in large groups, cliffs, coasts and even in the docks and navigation buoys. Males are territorial and have harems of females between fifteen each one. Usually mate between May and June. Females have a baby born on land or water at 12 months of gestation.

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They are the only mammals whose milk does not contain lactose. When they are heated in the water, removed to the surface its side flaps. Males produce great sounds to mark territory, it is why they named, "Sea Lions"

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Regularly are seen jumping over the water, to accelerate their swimming and surfing or running waves. Sea lions dive down to depths of over 150 meters, and dives last for 3-5 minutes, the amazing thing is that they can do it more than 30 hours!

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This friendly species inhabits the coasts of the North Pacific, from cold littoral Canada to the tropical waters of Baja California Sur in Mexico.

Some tourist places that is very common admire is in San Rafaelito islet, located near the Port of Pichilingue; Partida Island or "The lobera" found almost touching the Espiritu Santo Island; Eréndida beach in the Bay of La Paz and a mound of rocks near the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico.

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