Australian Sea-lion

Australian Sea-lion scratching itself with its rear flipper on sandy beach

Scientific Name: Neophoca cinerea

Size: TL 1.3–2.25m

What does it look like?

The Australian Sea-lion adult male is larger than the female, with thickened neck and chest. Coat (pelage) brown to blackish (becoming darker with age), and paler whitish-brown on head and nape. Adult female and young male silvery-grey above and yellowish-cream below. Rear flippers move independently. Snout blunt.

Where is it found?

Southern Australia, breeding on about 70 islands and parts of mainland along coast of SA (mainly) and WA.

What are its habitats & habits?

The Australian Sea-lion breeding and haul-out sites include sandy beaches, rocky islands, reefs and vegetated dunes. Forages at sea for variety of prey, including fish, squid, sharks, crustaceans and seabirds.

Interesting facts

The only endemic seal in Australia.

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A Naturalist's Guide to the Mammals of Australia front cover

This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Mammals of Australia

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