Sea lions are sea mammals characterized by external ear flaps, long foreflippers, the ability to walk on all fours, short, thick hair, and a big chest and belly. Together with the fur seals, they comprise the family Otariidae, eared seals, which contains six extant and one extinct species (the Japanese sea lion) in five genera. Their range extends from the subarctic to tropical waters of the global ocean in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with the notable exception of the northern Atlantic Ocean. They have an average lifespan of 20â30 years. A male California sea lion weighs on average about 300 kg (660 lb) and is about 8 ft (2. 4 m) long, while the female sea lion weighs 100 kg (220 lb) and is 6 ft (1. 8 m) long. The largest sea lion is Steller's sea lion, which can weigh 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) and grow to a length of 10 ft (3. 0 m). Sea lions consume large quantities of food at a time and are known to eat about 5â8% of their body weight (about 15â35 lb (6. 8â15. 9 kg)) at a single feeding. Sea lions can go around 16 knots in water and at their fastest they can go up to 30 knots. Three species, the Australian sea lion, the GalÃ¡pagos sea lion and the New Zealand sea lion are listed as Endangered.
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