As we announced in our previous post, at Sedna Inspirations we are proud to partner with the Marine Mammal Care Center (MMCC), a non-profit hospital for the seals and sea lions that strand on the beaches between Malibu and Seal Beach.
We believe that this mission also includes spreading knowledge about these amazing animals. That’s why today we share with you four interesting facts about seals and sea lions.
Seals and sea lions, together with other 32 species, form a group called pinnipeds, which in Latin means “feather-footed,” a reference to their wing-like flippers.
Pinnipeds tend to be awkward on land, but swim with great grace (the California sea lion, for example, can swim as fast as 25 miles per hour). Pinnipeds can be found on every continent on Earth and live in rich marine environments and some inland or tropical freshwater systems.
The Difference Between Seals and Sea Lions
Telling apart seals and sea lions is really easy. Sea lions have visible ear flaps, and when they’re on land they move using their large flippers. Seals, on the other hand, lack visible ear flaps and have smaller flippers, so they wriggle on their bellies when they move on land.
Another important difference is that seals communicate with gentle grunts, while sea lions are more raucous and can roar loudly, an ability that explains the comparison with lions.
An Easygoing California Attitude
California sea lions are among the most social marine mammals and are known to gather in groups of a thousand or more. The young ones in particular can be really playful: they push and shove each other, ride the surf, and even interact with other species of marine mammals.
However, things change during breeding season and disputes may arise when males and females try to defend their pups.
They Are Legally Protected
Both seals and sea lions are protected in the United States by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. This provision was signed into law in 1972 and divides duties as follows:
- The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has responsibility for the conservation and management of sea and marine otters, walruses, polar bears, three species of manatees, and dugongs.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for the conservation and management of pinnipeds other than walruses and cetaceans (animals like whales and dolphins).
The Marine Mammal Protection Act plays a key role in the preservation of seals and sea lions. However, we know that a lot remains to be done, so at Sedna Inspirations we have decided to do our part by donating to the Marine Mammal Care Center 10% of the sales of our Mermaid and Global Citizen hats. Shop online, get inspired, and start giving back today!