Rescued sea lion pup adorably relaxes in the sun
This adorable sea lion pup had to be rescued at a very young age, and now is being rehabilitated at a rescued center, in hopes that someday soon it'll be returned to the wild where it belongs. Because he is still very young, he doesn't like water yet, but loves to take naps in the sun, in the cold Chilean Summer.
The South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens) is a Pinniped, a suborder that includes 33 other species of sea lions, seals and the walrus. Pinnipeds are marine mammals that have front and rear flippers. They have short fur and slit-like nostrils can be closed when they dive. The suborder has three families: Phocidae (seals), Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals) and Odobenidae (walrus). Phocids have ear holes but no external ear flaps, and small front flippers, moving on land by flopping on their bellies. Otariids, have external ear flaps and large front flippers, being able to to walk on land. Odobenids are one of the largest pinnipeds, and both males and females have tusks and vacuum-like mouths.
South American Sea Lions occur from northern Peru south to Cape Horn, in the Pacific Ocean, and up to southern Brazil, in the Atlantic Ocean. They also occur in the Falkland Islands. Some individuals have been found as far north as Ecuador and Colombia, on the west coast, and Rio de Janeiro, on the east coast.
Adult males can reach 2.6 m in length and weigh up to 350 kg, whereas females will reach of 2 m in length and 170 kg. The male’s neck is more muscled than the females', with a patch of short hair around the head, resembling a lion's mane. Pups are born black above and paler below, and may present a greyish-orange coloration on the undersides, weighing 11-15 kg and are 75-85 cm long. They undergo a first molt at around one and two months of age, becoming dark brown, which will fade throughout its first year, becoming light brown.