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California Sea Lion

The California Sea Lion, Zalophus californianus californianus, is a coastal sea lion of the eastern Pacific often associated with marinas and wharves. Males grow to 750 pounds (340 kg) and 8 feet (2.4 m) long, females are generally no larger than 220 pounds (100 kg). Males grow a large crest of bone on the top of their heads as they reach sexual maturity, and it is this that gives the animal its generic name (loph is "forehead" and za- is an emphatic; Zalophus californianus means "big-headed Californian").

California Sea Lions are intelligent and adaptable, and are often trained as entertainers at ocean parks and zoos as well as by researchers studying interspecies cooperation in the marine environment.

The California Sea Lion is one of three subspecies of Z. californianus; the others are Z.c. japonicus Japanese Sea Lion and Z.c. wollenbacki Galapagos Sea Lion[?].



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