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In seals, the hind flippers extend directly behind the body, and are not capable of rotation unlike the hind flippers of sea lions that are longer and may be rotated toward the front of the body. Sustainability Policy |  Ask them how they would explain how to tell seals and sea lions apart to someone who has never seen either. Both types of seals, sea lions and walruses are all considered to be in the suborder Pinnipedia, which is usually translated as \"fin-footed\" or \"feather-footed.\" Pinnipeds (within the order Carnivora) consist of three families. The awkward movement on land is in sharp contrast to their excellent adaptation underwater. Seals have spotted coats in a variety of shades from white or silver-gray to black or dark brown, while sea lions are brown — their color ranges from chocolate brown in males to a lighter, golden brown in females. When discussing the difference between the seal vs. sea lion we can find five main differences that have to do with their anatomy and character traits. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited. Seals, on the other hand, build speed with their rear flippers and by moving their lower body side-to-side in a sculling motion. Seals. Seals lack an external ear flap whereas sea lions have an external ear flap that is visible. It has many crosswords divided into different worlds and groups. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. Otariids can be broken up further into sea lions and fur seals. Sea lions are much more vocal than true … The first difference between the seals and sea lions that we will discuss is the shape of their bodies and front fore flippers. 1145 17th Street NW Have students make predictions.Explain to students that seals' rear flippers extend backward; sea lions' rear flippers extend forward. By An Qi Share . Show them the photo gallery of harbor seals, leopard seals, and California sea lions.2. DOC is interested in sightings of New Zealand sea lions, and any tagged New Zealand fur seals. Taxonomic discussions tend to be a bit muddled as scientists strive to classify all the different species on the planet. Seals vs. sea lions is a difficult topic to grasp, but this article aims to clearly illuminate the difference between these two aquatic beasts. Seals evolved from two distinct groups of land mammals and are consequently categorised into ‘eared’ seals and true seals. Although they feed in the sea, they surface for air. Join our community of educators and receive the latest information on National Geographic's resources for you and your students. Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. They can’t “walk” on land the way a sea lion can. Female mammals produce milk to feed their offspring. Sea Lions vs. Sea lions and fur seals (members of the eared seal family) have visible ear flaps, while true seals only have ear holes. Depending on the species, you can find rafts of sea lions basking in the sun in small groups or large groups numbering in the thousands. This lists the logos of programs or partners of, National Geographic Animals: California Sea Lion, explain why scientists classify animals into different groups, identify the similarities and differences between seals and sea lions, describe how the similarities help the animals to swim in cold water, Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Projector, Speakers. They spend more time in the water than sea lions do and often lead solitary lives in the wild, coming ashore together only once a year to meet and mate. Ask students to predict which of these marine mammals could move most easily on land (sea lions). Fur seals are actually eared seals, which belong to family Otariidae. This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media. This causes differences between the two in locomotion when on land: seals move forward by caterpillar-like hitching movements; sea lions use their hind legs to walk or even gallop across land. It's a perfectly understandable confusion; these two animals are very similar in a lot of ways. National Geographic Headquarters Seals are quieter, vocalizing via soft grunts. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. Discuss how these features relate to swimming in cold water. This is why they are more likely to be employed in aquaria and marine shows. © 1996 - 2020 National Geographic Society. Ask students to think of an example of two animals that look similar but belong to different families. The northern fur seals at the Aquarium generally have a darker color to their fur than the sea lions. All seals, whales and dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978. It's common for scores of them to haul out together and loll about in the sand, comprising an amorphous pile in the noonday sun. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. Watch and discuss the video.Show students the video of leopard seals. Have students write a paragraph summarizing the information they find. Secondly, sea lions have small flaps for outer ears. An adaptation is passed from generation to generation. Christina Riska Simmons, Mary C. Cahill, Middle School Science Coordinator, The Potomac School, McLean, VA, Special thanks to the National Geographic Museum, adapted from National Geographic “Crittercam Educator Activities”. This is why they are more … But … Instead they flop along on their bellies. Being at home is a great time to learn. Seals and sea lions are actually called fin-footed animals or pinnipedia. CodyCross is a famous newly released game which is developed by Fanatee. Sea otters are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws and rest by floating on their back. True seals mainly differ from sea lions and fur seals due to the lack of external ears. In addition, sea lions have a loud bark and walk on their large rear flippers versus seals more wriggle on their belly and have smaller rear flippers. a modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence. Generally more social, living in larger groups; Vocal and noisy; Paddlelike hind flippers can be rotated forward to move across land more easily; Earflaps; Harbor Seals. Fourth, while both species spend time both in and out of the water, seals are better adapted to live in the water than on land. Seals and sea lions are both mammals. Seals have shorter front flippers; sea lions have longer front flippers.) The breakdown of these families looks something like this: At the same time, their hind flippers angle backward and don't rotate. Start learning with a free trial at https://skl.sh/tierzoo7 Check out Mike's video here! Washington, DC 20036, National Geographic Society is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Seals vs Sea Lions. She or he will best know the preferred format. Distribute the worksheet and have students identify similarities.Give each student a copy of the worksheet Seals and Sea Lions: Compare and Contrast. Sea lions (left) are brown, bark loudly, "walk" on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. In addition, seals use front flippers to move on land and hind flippers for swimming. Sea lions congregate in gregarious groups called herds or rafts that can reach upwards of 1,500 individuals. Kim Hulse, National Geographic Society This curated collection for learners in grades 3-5 can be implemented at home with minimal supplies and includes engaging, fun, and skill-building lessons in social studies, geography, science, and more. Sea lions, on the other hand, are able to "walk" on land by rotating their hind flippers forward and underneath their big bodies. Seal vs sea Lion vs Walrus vs Otter difference & comparison. When sea lions swim, they propel themselves through the water using their front flippers. Try differentiating seals from sea lions. Seals use their front flippers to steer, and their back flippers for power. Though their bodies can appear chubby, seals are generally smaller and more aquadynamic than sea lions. 3. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. Sea lions have larger front flippers, longer and mostly covered in skin. These small, plump seals have spotted gray to black coats. Harbor seals are torpedo-shaped and have short flippers. Have you ever wondered about the main differences between seals and their "second cousins," the sea lions? Pinnipeds are a widely distributed and diverse group of fin-footed semiaquatic marine mammals. You cannot download interactives. animal with hair that gives birth to live offspring. 1. Seals are carnivorous mammals and are related to dogs, cats, foxes and bears. Both seals and sea lions, together with the walrus, are pinnipeds, which means "fin footed" in Latin. The main difference between the two is that fur seals have a thicker coat that includes an undercoat. Finally, seals are less social than their sea-lion cousins. Seals are smaller than sea lions; male Stellar sea lions can grow to be up to 2,200 pounds. Harbor seals . “Seals” is actually a generalized name for all pinnipeds. Ears. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. Sea lions can be easily identified most of the time by their external ear flaps (seen in the photo above). Seals have little holes on their head, and lacks a pinnae. Discuss how this movement relates to the animals' vulnerability to predators like polar bears and sharks. Introduce the concept of classification.Discuss why scientists classify animals into different groups. If you're not a marine scientist or even an aficionado, there's not a whole lot of reason or opportunity to learn what the differences are between a seal and a sea lion. Gray seals clock in at about 14-23 mph. They return to land to give birth and nurse their young. 1. Exactly how fast can seals and sea lions swim? Have students use the National Geographic Animals site to research what California sea lions eat, where they find food, and how they eat it. Tell students that the science of classifying organisms into different groups is taxonomy. You have to get very close to see the tiny holes on the sides of a seal’s sleek head. But seals and sea lions are in different taxonomical families owing to some key anatomical differences. Terms of Service |  Sea lions regularly gather in groups, which are called rafts (when in water) or colonies (when on land). If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. Most seals don’t have an external flap at all, but a small ear hole instead. The only thing to tell them apart is, the fur seal has a comparatively shorter face and softer fur; and male sea lions have mane hair on their necks, like the real lions in Africa. Have students identify differences.Have students find at least two features that differ in seals and sea lions. Find out Seals and sea lions Answers. Seals also use their back and front flippers differently from sea lions while swimming. Some of the worlds are: Planet Earth, Under The Sea, Inventions, Seasons, Circus, Transports and Culinary Arts. Sea lions, on the other hand, look much more adept out of the water. Below are some key characteristics of San Diego’s sea lions vs. seals, in order of what’s easiest to spot first: Sea Lions But seals and sea lions belong to different families. The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. Seals were tagged as earless since they do not have ear flaps. The most notable anatomical differences are the ears and the flippers. This makes them fast in the water but basic belly crawlers on terra firma. Code of Ethics. The "seals" you may see performing at marine parks are often sea lions. Tell them they can confirm or revise their predictions as they watch a video.5. All rights reserved. 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