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  • León marino en Zoo Aquarium de Madrid
  • León marino en Zoo Aquarium de Madrid
  • León marino en Zoo Aquarium de Madrid

Common name:

Patagonian sea lion

Scientific name:

Otaria byronia


140 - 350 kg


2 - 2,4 m
Oceans and seas
North America


Preocupación menor
Least concern
Monday to Friday: 12:00, 15:30 h. Weekends and Holidays: 11:30 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

Who is it? 

The Patagonian sea lion belongs to the Order Carnivora, to the family of the pinnipeds. A family that has been able to adapt to exploit the marine environment, and that are even able to sleep in the water.

Among the characteristics of this species are its hydrodynamic shape and limbs, turned into fins. In addition, they have hair and a thick layer of fat that helps them regulate body temperature. They are animals that have sexual dimorphism, since the males are larger than the females.

Unlike seals, they have ears and their insertion from the femur to the hip is different, so that sea lions can move on all fours, in quadruped, while seals move by crawling. The form of swimming is also different, as seals are propelled with hind flippers while sea lions do it with front flippers. Furthermore, seals have claws on both hind and forelimbs, whereas sea lions only have claws on the hind limbs.

What are its habits?

Although it can spend long periods at sea, in the breeding season it returns to land to mate and give birth to its cubs. The social organization, at this time of year, is based on harems (one male, several females).

The males fight for their territory: the strongest sea lion will protect the group of females and their cubs from the obtained territory, defending them from predators and other competing males. As for the cubs, once they are born their growth is fast (in two months they are already entering the sea).

Did you know…

Sea lion teeth are coated in a brown or black color, due to the presence of bacteria that help protect the enamel of their teeth.

Children under 3 years free!