Otariidae – Eared seals

The sea lions! Row through water using their long font flippers

Seals were often confused with walruses and sometimes sea otters, but now we know they’re all in different families of Carnivora and look quite different. It’ll be more understandable now if you confuse the two types of seals. Otrariids are eared seals (commonly called sea lions or fur seals) and are different from true seals, which do not have external ear pinnae.

Sea lions have larger and stronger fore flippers (they can walk on all four limbs). It’s a land adaptation, making them maneuver more comfortably on solid turf than their earless cousins. They’re endangered because of rampant hunting by humans. Nonetheless, they’re amiable and social animals. They are amphibians – eat at sea but mate and give birth on land. 

The Plastic Pollution Free Galapagos program aims to protect marine life (like Galapagos fur seals) from the life-threatening impacts of plastic pollution.