California sea lions or zalophus californianus is a pinniped mammal species comprising the family otariidae, which inhabits northern Pacific coasts from Canada until Lower California (Mexico).
Males and females are quite different physically. Males are about 650-850 pounds weight and about 8 feet tall. Females are hardly 180-260 pounds weight and around 6.5 feet tall. Adult males present a marked sagittal crest.
They have an aerodynamic body and a thick fat layer under their skin that helps them conserve their body warm and floatability. Their skin is chocolate-chestnut coloured. Their big eyes help them compensate the low-light levels they find in the sub-aquatic environment and their whiskers increment their sense of touch. Their nostrils close automatically when in touch with the water. Their long foreflippers rotate to the outside in order to move more easily on the ground.
They propel them forwards when in the water, where they like to be as long as they can.
Feeding and sociability
They eat fish and molluscs. They are quite sociable and they live in large groups settling cliffs, coasts, piers and navigational buoys.
Males are territorial and have harems of around fifteen females each. They usually mate during the period going from May to June. Then females have only one baby which can be born on the ground or in the water 12 months after the gestation process. They are the only mammals whose milk does not contain any lactose.