Found in both indoor and outdoor habitats, Mystic Aquarium is home to several different species of seals and sea lions. Pacific Northwest is home to several species of pinnipeds including harbor seals, a spotted seal, Northern fur seals and Steller sea lions. Inside our Foxwoods Marine Theater are California sea lions.
Whether is the ears or the flippers, guests will know the difference between a seal and sea lion and a whole lot more after visiting with exhibit interpreters and animal care professionals who interact with guests every day at every mammal habitat!
A sea lion’s vocal is a bark, similar to a dog, and is unique to each animal!
Sea lion pups and females also each have a unique smell for further identification.
California sea lions are ‘eared seals’ with long narrow snouts. Long broad front flippers with small claws and rotating hind flippers with three to five webbed short-clawed digits allow sea lions to walk on land. The diet of a California sea lion consists of a variety of fish and invertebrates such as squids and octopuses and at Mystic Aquarium it’s restaurant quality!
One visit to the Foxwoods Marine Theater and guests immediately become enamored with Mystic Aquarium’s resident California sea lions. And why not? Whether you refer to the group as a colony (while on land), a raft (in the water) or a rookery, with their large brown eyes, playful demeanor and of course, their bark, they are an easy favorite. This instant connection between guest and ambassador species helps inspire action that we hope ultimately leads to protection of the species and their habitat.
While we are proud that educational information on sea lions is delivered with your entertainment in mind, the behaviors exhibited by the animals in the show an important part of animal care and enrichment as well.
HABITAT: California sea lions frequent rocky and sandy beaches of coastal islands and mainland shorelines.
RANGE: As far north as British Columbia, Canada to as far south as Baja California and Mexico.
STATUS: Protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act
THREATS: Because they are often found at marinas, boat docks and jetties, the largest threat posed to California sea lions are human interaction injuries like entanglement, harassment and pollution.