What is the difference between the California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal?

What is the difference between the California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) and the South African Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus)?

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal are both marine (saltwater) mammals in the Pinnipedia clade and Otariidae family of sea lions and fur seals. 

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal have external ear flaps. Therefore, they are both otariids.   

California Sea Lion (left) and South African Fur Seal (right)

The California Sea Lion and the South African Fur Seal have fins which are streamlined for swimming, but they can also walk on land. Therefore, they are both pinnipeds.   

The California Sea Lion does not have a mane of hair, whereas the South African Fur Seal has a mane of hair around its neck.

The California Sea Lion is usually smaller than the South African Fur Seal. The California Sea Lion grows to about 180-240 centimetres (71-94 inches) long, whereas the South African Fur Seal grows to about 240 centimetres (94 inches) long. 

The California Sea Lion is native to the oceans off western North America, from Alaska to central Mexico, including the Gulf of California, whereas the South African Fur Seal is native to the coastline off southern and south-western Africa, from Namibia to South Africa.

California Sea Lion
South African Fur Seal

Location of photographs: Berlin Zoo, Germany

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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