A sea lion is any of several marine mammals of the family Otariidae. Sea lions are characterized by the presence of external ear pinnae or flaps, long front flippers, and the ability to walk on four flippers on land. Sea lions are generally found in coastal waters of the temperate to subpolar regions of both northern and southern hemispheres.
Sea lions are often a popular attraction at zoos and aquariums, performing tricks such as throwing and catching balls on their noses and clapping.
Sea lions of many species have seen a severe and rapid decrease in numbers in recent years. Many factors including overfishing of other species, shooting by fishermen and pollution have probably contributed to the decline. The population of Steller's sea lions in Alaska has declined as much as 80% since the 1970s.
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