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Longboat Key Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 5 years ago


by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Stella, Rose and Kitty will become the first sea lions to visit Mote Marine Aquarium. They’re the first three sea lions to be featured in Mote’s “Sea Lions: On the Water’s Edge” exhibit.

The exhibit runs from Dec. 1 through April 28.

For now, read up on a few fast facts about sea lions, courtesy of Mote:
• Sea lions are highly agile on water, thanks in part to their streamlined body and sleek fur. And while they may look clumsy on land, don’t let them fool you: They have no trouble exploring, as demonstrated by sea lions on Año Island, Calif., which climbed a flight of stairs in an old house.

• Sea lions and fur seals have smaller external ears than true seals.

• Pinnipeds — i.e. sea lions, seals, fur seals and walruses — have highly sensitive whiskers that can connect with 10 times the number of nerve fibers as the whiskers of land mammals.

• California sea lions can dive deeper than 880 feet, while other pinnipeds can go even deeper.

• Sea lions are capable of learning complicated behaviors. In fact, some California sea lions have been trained to communicate with humans in a manner similar to the way in which some dolphins have been trained.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].


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