Wednesday, February 24, 2010

California sea lion
Zalophus californianus

Sea lions are so much cuter when they're smaller. Sigh, yes, my parents took us to SeaWorld San Diego as kids and to this day I still view sea lions as trainable circus curiosities with beach balls on their noses, something like (gag!) dancing elephants, women with beards, or Siamese twins, hence my general disinterest in these animals.

Thanks to this creagus site, I just learned the larger sea lions I often see along the Coast Guard Pier may be Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus)... and here I thought they were simply older and grumpier versions of the smaller boys. Additionally, I've always thought we had sea lions in Monterey year round, and some years, like last year towards the end of May, the local population explodes. I can usually smell the extra sea lions well before I hear or see them.

I should look into learning more about our local sea lions, particularly in regard to seasonal fluctuations considering several reputable online sites claim both species are mainly in Monterey during the fall and winter, with some in the spring and summer. I have found the opposite is true. I have photo evidence that large groups are here at the end of May and well into the summer, so I beg to differ with the experts. Hmm?

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