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Difference between Seals and Sea Lions

Difference between Seals and Sea Lions

The Difference between Seals and Sea Lions can be confusing for some. Both animals belong to the family Otariidae, but there are some distinct differences between the two. Seals have smaller eyes, shorter fur, and smaller body size in comparison to sea lions. Sea lions are larger with thicker fur and bigger flippers. They also have V-shaped nostrils that seal lack. While both animals reside in the water, they have different habitats. Seals mostly stay near the shoreline, while sea lions can be found in more open waters.

What are Seals?

Seals are a type of pinniped, which is a mammal with front and rear flippers. Seals live in the ocean and can be found on all continents except Antarctica. The majority of seals live in the Northern Hemisphere. Seals spend most of their time in the water but come to land to mate, give birth, rest, and Socialize. Seals have a layer of blubber that helps to keep them warm in cold water. Seals use their front flippers to propel themselves through water and their rear flippers to help them steer. Seals can hold their breath for long periods of time and can dive to depths of over 600 meters. Seals are carnivores and eat fish, squid, crabs, and lobsters. Seals are hunted by humans for their fur and oil. Some species of seals are endangered due to hunting and other human activities.

What are Sea Lions?

Sea lions are aquatic mammals that are found along the coastlines of oceans and seas around the world. These animals have an unmistakable appearance, with long, streamlined bodies, paddle-like flippers, and elongated necks and heads. Sea lions are closely related to true seals but are distinct in a number of ways. Unlike seals, sea lions typically move about on land by dragging themselves on their bellies, rather than having to completely haul themselves up onto the shore. Additionally, sea lions tend to be somewhat more social and active than seals, spending time hunting together in large groups or hauling out at the beach for rest. Despite their remarkable adaptations for life in the ocean, however, sea lions depend on healthy coastal ecosystems in order to thrive. Because of this important role in their ecosystem, it is essential to protect these intelligent animals from threats like overfishing and pollution.

Difference between Seals and Sea Lions

Seals and sea lions are two distinct, animal species that are often confused for one another due to their similarities in appearance and behavior. Seals are typically smaller than sea lions, and their bodies are more streamlined in shape. In addition, seals tend to rely on a form of locomotion called “inching,” or moving forward by planting the front flippers and dragging the hindquarters underneath. Seals also tend to remain close to shore, often kept as pets or domesticated for entertainment purposes by humans. By contrast, sea lions are much larger in size, with bulky bodies and wide flippers that aid in fast swimming. Unlike seals, they prefer open water, hunting and traveling across vast distances as they please. Overall, the main difference between seals and sea lions is their location: while seals remain closer to shore, sea lions prefer to venture farther out into the oceanic environment.


It is important to be able to distinguish between seals and sea lions because their habitats differ. Seals live in colder climates near the North and South Poles, while sea lions are found in more temperate areas around the world. Sea lions also tend to congregate in colonies, whereas seals are typically solitary animals. With this knowledge, you can help protect these creatures by knowing which ones need conservation efforts put into place.

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