Reader Barbara Wilson sent a series of sea lion photos; her notes are indented:
Male California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) travel far north of their breeding grounds during the winter. The external ears distinguish sea lions from seals. Males of this species are identified by the domed heads. I’m not sure if the one with a low head is a female, a young male, or another species. Any time one moves much, he and his neighbors all engage in loud barking and open-mouthed threats. They have impressive canines!
These individuals are resting on low docks in Newport, Oregon. The docks were built for small boats, but the sea lions took over. Now the docksare disintegrating under heavy use and people are raising funds to replace them, so we can continue to see the sea lions this close.
In any large group of animals, you could expect to see injuries and scars. Here is one with some kind of skin problem, next to one with scars from what look like an encounter with a propeller.
Sometimes the sea lions rest peacefully.
Lagniappe: Bonus squirrel-vs.-hawk video, courtesy of reader Federico.