If you forgot page one or two or three, you may
Lets start this page with some of the larger mammals, and then
sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Lion Group at Haulout, Alaska
|Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear flaps,
long foreflippers, the ability to walk on all fours, and short,
thick hair. Together with the fur seals, they comprise the
family Otariidae, or eared seals. There are six extant
in five genera.
Their range extends from the subarctic to tropical waters
of the global ocean in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres,
with the notable exception of the northern Atlantic Ocean.
They have an average life span of 2030 years.
A male California Sea Lion weighs on an average about 300
kg and is about 2.50m long, while the female sea lion weighs
100 kg and is 1,70m long. The largest sea lion is the Steller's
sea lion which can weigh 1000 kg and grow to a length
nearly 3 m. . Sea lions consume large quantities of food at
a time and are known to eat about 5-8% of their body weight
(about 5 to 12 kg) at a single feeding.
|The California sea lion, Zalophus californianus,
is a coastal sea lion of western North America. Their
numbers are abundant
(188,000 U.S. stock, 1995 estimate), and the population
continues to expand about 5% annually. They are quite
and can adapt to man-made environments. Because of this,
California sea lions are commonly found in public displays
zoos and marine parks and trained by the US Navy for certain
military operations. This is the classic circus "seal",
it is not a true seal.
sea lion - overview
BBC Natural History Unit, Master Tracks
Males grow a large crest of bone on the top of their heads
as they reach sexual maturity, and this gives the animal
name (loph is "forehead" and za- is an emphatic;
Zalophus californianus means "Californian
big-head"). They also have
manes, although they are not as well developed as the
manes of adult male South American or Steller
Females are lighter in color than the males, and pups
are born dark, but lighten when they are several months
When it is dry, the skin is a purple color. A sea lion's
average lifespan is 17 years in the wild, and longer in
By sealing their noses shut, they are able to stay underwater
for up to 15 minutes.
Lions at Haulout, Alaska
California sea lions prefer to breed on sandy beaches.
They usually stay no more than 18 km out to sea. On
they stay close to the water's edge. At night or on
cool days, the sea lions will move inland or up coastal
Outside of the breeding season, they will often gather
at marinas and wharves, and may even be seen on navigational
Sea lions living around islands are less vulnerable
to predation than coastal ones. The sea lion's major
killer whales and white sharks.
California sea lions can also live in fresh water for
periods of time. They feed on Pacific salmon in front
of Bonneville Dam,
250 km from the Pacific Ocean. Historically, sea lions
hunted salmon in the Columbia River as far as The Dalles
Falls, 320 km from the sea, as remarked upon by people
such as George Simpson in 1841. In 2004, a healthy sea
found sitting on a road in Merced County, California,
almost a 160 km upstream from San Francisco Bay and
half a mile
from the San Joaquin River.
Communications, Inc, BBC Natural History Unit,
California sea lions feed on a wide variety of seafood,
mainly squid and fish, and sometimes even clams. Commonly
fish and squid species include salmon, hake, Pacific
whiting, anchovies, herring, schooling fish, rock fish,
lampreys, dog fish,
and market squid. They feed mostly around the edge of
the continental shelf sea mounts, the open ocean and
bottom. Average annual food consumption of males in
zoos increases with age to stabilize at approximately
by the age of 10 years. Females showed a rapid increase
in average annual food consumption until they were three
Thereafter, females housed outdoors averaged 1,800 kg/year.
Sea Lion, Eumetopias
about the California Sea Lion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_sea_lion
Sea Lions, Aiugunak Pinnacles, Alaska Peninsula
Photo Bailey, Ed, Contributors AMNWR
|The Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus,
also known as the northern sea lion, is a threatened
species of sea lion in the
northern Pacific. It is the sole member of the genus
Eumetopias and the largest of the eared seals,
Among pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the
walrus and the two elephant seals. The species is
named for the naturalist
Wilhelm Steller, who first described them
in 1741. The Steller sea lion has attracted considerable
recent decades due to significant, unexplained declines
in their numbers over a large portion of their range
Island, Steller's Sea Lion haul out
Photo: Bell, Kevin Contributors AMNWR
|Adult animals are lighter in color than most sea
lions, ranging from pale yellow to tawny and occasionally
Steller sea lion pups are born almost black, weighing
around 23 kg, and remain dark for several months.
Females and males
both grow rapidly until the fifth year, after which
female growth slows considerably. Adult females measure
in length, with an average of 2.5 m, and weigh 240350
kg , with an average of 265 kg. Males continue to
grow until their
secondary sexual traits appear in their fifth to eighth
year. Males are slightly longer than the females;
they grow to about
2.803.25 m long, with an average of 3 m. Males
have much wider chests, necks and general forebody
structure and weigh
4501,120 kg, with an average of 545 kg. Males
are further distinguished from females by broader,
flatter snouts, and darker, slightly tuftier hair
around their large necks, giving them a maned appearance.
Indeed, their Latin
name translates roughly as: "maned one with the
sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus, on Buldir Island,
Lauber, Lon E.
|The range of the Steller sea lion extends
from the Kuril Islands and the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia
to the Gulf of Alaska in
the north, and south to Año Nuevo Island off
central California. They formerly bred as far south
as the Channel Islands,
but have not been observed there since the 1980s.
Based on genetic analyses and local migration patterns,
the global Steller
sea lion population has traditionally been divided
into an eastern and western stock at 144° W longitude,
roughly through the
middle of the Gulf of Alaska. Recent evidence suggests
the sea lions in Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk and
the Kuril Islands
comprise a third Asian stock, while the sea lions
on the eastern seaboard of Kamchatka and the Commander
Islands belong to the western stock.
In the summer, Steller sea lions tend to shift their
range somewhat southward. Thus, though there are no
rookeries in Japan, there are several consistent haulouts
around Hokkaido in the winter and spring.
|Steller sea lions are skilled and opportunistic
marine predators feeding on a wide range of fish and
Important diet components include walleye pollock,
Atka mackerel, halibut, herring, capelin, flatfish,
Pacific cod,, rockfish,
sculpins, and cephalopods. They seem to prefer schooling
fish and remain primarily in between intertidal zones
continental shelves. They are also known to enter
estuarine environments and feed on some semifreshwater
fish such as
sturgeon. Very occasionally, they have been known
to prey on northern
fur seals, harbor
seals and sea otter pups.
They are near the top of the marine food chain, but
are susceptible to predation by killer whales and
Otter, Enhydra lutris
about the Steller's Sea Lion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steller_sea_lion
Southern Sea otter in water
|The sea otter, Enhydra lutris, is
a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern
and eastern North Pacific Ocean.
Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and
45 kg, making them the heaviest members of the weasel
family, but among
the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine
mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation
is an exceptionally
thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom.
Although it can walk on land, the sea otter lives
mostly in the ocean.
The sea otter inhabits offshore environments where
it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly
invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs
and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging
habits are noteworthy in several respects. First,
its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells
makes it one of the few
mammal species to use tools. In most of its range,
it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin
populations which would
otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest
ecosystems. Its diet includes prey species that
are also valued by humans
as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters
of sea otters, Enhydra lutris
Photo: Karney, Lee
|Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000300,000,
were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741
and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,0002,000
individuals in a fraction of their historic range.
A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation
efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously
areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the
species now occupies about two-thirds of its former
The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important
success in marine conservation, although populations
Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined
or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons
otter remains classified as an endangered species.
|The sea otter is diurnal. It has a
period of foraging and eating in the morning, starting
about an hour before sunrise, then rests
or sleeps in mid-day. Foraging resumes for a few hours
in the afternoon and subsides before sunset, and there
may be a third
foraging period around midnight. Females with pups
appear to be more inclined to feed at night. Observations
of the amount
of time a sea otter must spend each day foraging range
from 24 to 60%, apparently depending on the availability
in the area.
The sea otter spends much of its time grooming, which
consists of cleaning the fur, untangling knots, removing
loose fur, rubbing the fur to squeeze out water and
introduce air, and blowing air into the fur. To an
observer it appears as if the
animal is scratching, however sea otters are not known
to have lice or other parasites in the fur. When eating,
the sea otter
rolls in the water frequently, apparently to wash
food scraps from its fur.
Now to some animal we don't normally see so often....
about the Sea Otter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter
Big-Eared Bats, Corynorhinus townsendii
Big-Eared Bats, Corynorhinus townsendii
|The Townsend's Big-Eared Bat, or Virginia Big-Eared
Bat, Corynorhinus townsendii, is a medium-sized
extremely long, flexible ears (hence the name) and
small yet noticeable lumps on each side of the snout.
are similar to dark brown on the back, and wood-brown
on the sides. The underparts are a slightly paler
shade of brown.
These bats can be identified by the nearly uniform
color of their bodies. Its total length is around
10 cm, its tail being
around 5 cm. It's wingspan is about 28 cm. It weighs
around 712 grams. While many other North American
are being affected by White Nose Syndrome, as of February
2011 no bats of this species seem to be affected.
Researchers are further investigating.
Big-Eared Bats, Corynorhinus townsendii,
|The Townsend Big-Eared Bat's diet may
include small moths, flies, lacewings, dung beetles,
sawflies, and other small insects.
One report states that the species feeds almost exclusively
on Lepidoptera moths.
Corynorhinus townsendii can be found in the
following countries: Canada, Mexico, and United States.
This bat is often
distributed near rocky areas where caves or abandoned
mine tunnels are available. They may also occasionally
Big-Eared Bats, Corynorhinus townsendii,
|The average lifespan of a Townsend's
Big-Eared Bat is 16 years.
During summer, males and females occupy separate roosting
sites. Males live a solitary lifestyle away from females.
Females and their pups form maternity colonies which
often number from around 12 to 200, although in the
United States colonies of 1,000 or more have been
During the winter these bats hibernate, often when
temperatures are around 0°C and 11.5°C. Hibernation
tightly packed clusters, which could possibly help
stabilize body temperature against the cold. Males
often hibernate in
warmer places than females and are more easily aroused
and active in winter than females. The bats are often
from their sleep because they tend to wake up frequently
and move around in the cave or move from one cave
another. Before hibernation, Corynorhinus townsendii
increase their body mass to compensate for the food
not eat during the winter.
Vole, Microtus miurus
about the Sea Otter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter
Vole, Microtus miurus, Hall Island, Alaska
|A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but
with a stouter body, a shorter hairy tail, a slightly
rounder head, smaller
ears and eyes, and differently formed molars (high-crowned
and with angular cusps instead of low-crowned and
rounded cusps). There are approximately 155 species
of voles. They are sometimes known as meadow mice
mice in North America. Vole species form the subfamily
Arvicolinae with the lemmings and the
The singing vole, Microtus miurus, is a medium-sized
vole found in northwestern North America, including
and northwestern Canada.
|Singing voles have short ears, often
concealed by their long fur, and a short tail. The
fur is soft and dense, especially in
winter. They vary in color from pale tawny to pale
grey, with buff-colored patches running from the undersides
ears along the flanks to the rump, and buff or ochre
underparts. The fur is lightly ticked with black guard
hairs, but these
are so sparse that have little effect on the visible
coloration of the animal. The fur is greyer in color
during the winter.
The paws have sharp, narrow claws, which are largely
hidden by fur.
Adult singing voles range from 9 to 16 centimetres
in length, not counting the short, 1.5 to 4 centimetres,
They can weigh anything from 11 to 60 grams, depending
on their exact age and recent diet. There is no significant
difference in size or coloration between the two sexes.
Male singing voles possess modified sebaceous glands
flanks, which are used in scent marking; these glands
have also been noted in some lactating females.
Singing voles are native to Alaska and north-western
Canada. They are found from the western coasts, across
and northern Alaska, but avoid the Alaska Peninsula,
the central regions, and much of the northern coast.
In the east, they reach as far as the Mackenzie Mountains,
being found throughout the Yukon, aside from the northern
coasts, and in border regions of the neighboring provinces.
Singing voles are found in tundra regions above the
tree line. They avoid the most extreme environments
regions, preferring open, well-drained slopes and
rock flats with abundant shrubs and sedges. They feed
on arctic plants
such as lupines, knotweed, sedges, horsetails, and
willows. Their main predators include wolverines,
about the Singing Vole: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singing_vole
Northern Flying Squirrel,
Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus
|Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized
rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes
ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks),
flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are
to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa and have been
introduced to Australia.
Squirrels cannot feed upon cellulose and must rely
on foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
In temperate regions,
early spring is the hardest time of year for squirrels,
because buried nuts begin to sprout and are no longer
available for the
squirrel to eat, and new food sources have not become
available yet. During these times squirrels rely heavily
on the buds
of trees. Squirrels' diet consists primarily of a
wide variety of plant food, including nuts, seeds,
conifer cones, fruits, fungi
and green vegetation. However some squirrels also
consume meat, especially when faced with hunger.Squirrels
known to eat insects, eggs, small birds, young snakes
and smaller rodents. Indeed, some tropical species
almost entirely to a diet of insects.
The living squirrels are divided into five subfamilies,
with about 58 genera and some 285 species.
We will only include 2 or 3 here......
Northern Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus
ground squirrel, Urocitellus washingtoni
|The Northern flying squirrel, Glaucomys
sabrinus is one of two species of the genus Glaucomys,
the only flying squirrels
found in North America (the other is the somewhat
smaller Southern flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans).
Unlike most members of their family, flying squirrels
are strictly nocturnal. The Northern flying squirrel
is found in
coniferous and mixed forests across the top of North
America, from Alaska to Nova Scotia, south to North
and west to California. Populations from the Pacific
Coast of the United States are genetically distinct
from those of
Glaucomys sabrinus found elsewhere in North
America, although they are considered to belong to
the same species.
Two subspecies are found in the southern Appalachians,
the Carolina Northern flying squirrel, Glaucomys
sabrinus coloratus, and the Virginia Northern
flying squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus,
both of which are endangered,
although the Virginia subspecies has recovered enough
that it was delisted in August 2008.
Washington ground squirrel is a candidate for the
Endangered Species List.
ground squirrel, Spermophilus beecheyi
|The Washington ground
squirrel, Urocitellus washingtoni, is a squirrel
found in the Pacific Northwest United States, in th
e states of Washington and Oregon. The species is
listed as endangered in Oregon and is a candidate
species listing in the United States, but is not currently
listed. The IUCN formerly listed the species as vulnerable,
currently it is listed as near threatened.
The Washington ground squirrel lives in sagebrush
or grassland habitats in the Columbia River Basin
of Washington and
Oregon. Washington ground squirrels hibernate / estivate
78 months each year. Adults breed shortly after
from hibernation in January or February and juveniles
emerge from the natal burrow in March. Juveniles disperse
from the natal burrow and settle into new areas. All
Washington ground squirrels gain weight and prepare
for hibernation in
late spring and early summer. Juveniles immerge for
estivation in June or July, and adults begin estivating
earlier, often in June.
ground squirrel, Spermophilus beecheyi
Photo: Zahm, Gary R.
|The California ground squirrel, Otospermophilus
beecheyi, is a common and easily observed ground
squirrel of the
western United States and the Baja California peninsula;
it is common in Oregon and California and its range
recently extended into Washington and northwestern
The squirrel's upper parts are mottled, the fur containing
a mixture of gray, light brown and dusky hairs; the
lighter, buff or grayish yellow. The fur around the
eyes is whitish, while that around the ears is black.
Head and body are
about 30 cm long and the tail an additional 15 cm.
The tail is relatively bushy for a ground squirrel,
and at a quick glance
the squirrel might be mistaken for a fox squirrel.
As is typical for ground squirrels, California ground
squirrels live in burrows which they excavate themselves.
Some burrows are occupied communally but each individual
squirrel has its own entrance. Although they readily
in areas used by humans, and quickly learn to take
food left or offered by picnickers, they spend most
of their time within
25 m of their burrow, and rarely go further than 50
m from it.
California ground squirrels are frequently preyed
on by rattlesnakes. They are also preyed on by eagles,
badgers, and weasels. Interdisciplinary research at
the University of California, Davis, since the 1970s
has shown that the
squirrels use a variety of techniques to reduce rattlesnake
predation. Some populations of California ground squirrels
varying levels of immunity to rattlesnake venom as
adults. Female squirrels with pups also chew on the
skins shed by
rattlesnakes and then lick themselves and their pups
(who are never immune to venom before one month of
disguise their scent.
Weasel, Mustela ermina
Sorry, it has run away, but you will find it by clicking
on the link above.
Now, how about some real big animals again?
|The walrus, Odobenus rosmarus,
is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous
circumpolar distribution in the
Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern
Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species
in the Odobenidae
family and Odobenus genus. It is subdivided
into three subspecies: the Atlantic walrus,
Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus
which lives in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific
walrus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens which
lives in the Pacific Ocean,
and Odobenus rosmarus laptevi, which lives
in the Laptev Sea, north of Siberia.
|The walrus is easily recognized
by its prominent tusks, whiskers and great bulk.
Adult Pacific males can weigh more than
1,700 kilograms, and, among pinnipeds,
are exceeded in size only by the two species of
It resides primarily in shallow oceanic shelf
habitat, spending a significant proportion of
its life on sea ice in pursuit of its
preferred diet of benthic bivalve mollusks. It
is a relatively long-lived, social animal and
is considered a keystone species
in Arctic marine ecosystems.
The walrus has played a prominent role in the
cultures of many indigenous Arctic peoples, who
have hunted the walrus for
its meat, fat, skin, tusks and bone. In the 19th
and early 20th centuries, the walrus was the object
of heavy commercial
exploitation for blubber and ivory and its numbers
declined rapidly. Its global population has since
rebounded, though the
Atlantic and Laptev populations remain fragmented
and at historically depressed levels.
on land at Togiak National Wildlife Refuge
|While some outsized Pacific males
can weigh as much as 2,000 kg , most weigh between
800 and 1,680 kg.
The Atlantic subspecies weighs about 1020%
less than the Pacific subspecies. The Atlantic
Walrus also tends to have
relatively shorter tusks and somewhat more flattened
snout. Females weigh about two-thirds as much,
with the Atlantic
females averaging 560 kg, sometimes weighing as
little as 400 kg, and the Pacific female averaging
800 kg .
Length ranges from 2.2 to 3.6 m. It is the second
largest pinniped, after the elephant seals.
The walrus' body shape shares features with both
sea lions (eared seals: Otariidae) and
seals (true seals: Phocidae).
As with otariids, it can turn its rear flippers
forward and move on all fours; however, its swimming
technique is more like
that of true seals, relying less on flippers and
more on sinuous whole body movements.
"Mother and daughter"
|The most prominent feature of the
walrus is its long tusks. These are elongated
canines, which are present in both sexes and
can reach a length of 1 m and weigh up to 5.4
kg. Tusks are slightly longer and thicker among
males, who use them for
fighting, dominance and display; the strongest
males with the largest tusks typically dominate
Tusks are also used to form and maintain holes
in the ice and aid the walrus in climbing out
of water onto ice.
It was previously assumed that tusks were used
to dig out prey from the seabed, but analyses
of abrasion patterns on the
tusks indicate that they are dragged through the
sediment while the upper edge of the snout is
used for digging.
While the dentition of walruses is highly variable,
they generally have relatively few teeth other
than the tusks.
Walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, at Cape Peirce
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
|Pacific Walrus utilize beaches
around Cape Peirce as haulout areas on which
to rest between feeding forays. These beaches
are surrounded by sheer cliffs affording the
walrus protection from predators.
|Walruses live to about 2030
years old in the wild. The males reach sexual
maturity as early as 7 years, but do not typically
mate until fully developed around 15 years of
age. They rut from January through April, decreasing
their food intake
dramatically. The females begin ovulating as
soon as 46 years old. The females are
polyestrous, coming into heat in late
summer and also around February, yet the males
are fertile only around February; the potential
fertility of this second period
is unknown. Breeding occurs from January to
March, peaking in February. Males aggregate
in the water around ice-bound
groups of estrous females and engage in competitive
vocal displays. The females join them and copulate
in the water.
pod of walrus hauled out on Round Island Beach
Round Island is a remote wilderness far from
medical facilities. Weather can be
extreme and visitors are expected to be entirely
self-sufficient. You must be in
good physical condition to get onto and around
YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THESE CONDITIONS,
PLEASE DO NOT
APPLY FOR A PERMIT
|When surching for where Round Island were
situated, we found this Warning on the page
where we could
apply for permisson to land on the island. May
be we are going to delay that for a while.....
Walrus surfacing through ice on the Alaska
|Each summer, thousands of seabirds also return
to the islands to nest and raise their young.
Nearly 250,000 seabirds nest
on Round Island. This includes 150,000 common
murres, 70,000 black-legged kittiwakes, 1,250
parakeet auklets, horned and tufted puffins,
pigeon guillemots, and glaucous-winged gulls.
Approximately 135,000 more
seabirds nest on the Twins, and the other islands
of the Sanctuary also support sizeable seabird
colonies. Round Island is
also home to numerous passerine, raptor, duck,
and shorebird species. Including seabirds, more
than 100 bird species
have been observed within the Sanctuary
But that was not animals. Perhaps we will
return later (much later) with a report on North
about the Walrus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walrus
brings us to the end of page 4 of this North American
As per February 21st, 2012, the next 2 or more pages
are not yet ready,
but you may try page
five right now.