Difference between seal and sea lion

Main difference

The seal and the sea lion are semi-aquatic mammals that are often referred to as pinnipeds. The word ‘pinnepeds’ is derived from the classical Latin words ‘ pinnapes, pinnipes’, which means‘winged feet’. As mentioned above, they are semi-aquatic animals, their special types of fins help them to live both on land and in water. Seals are the most prominent pinnepids, and the others to follow are sea lions and walruses. Pinnipeds are further grouped into three families: Odobenidae, Otariidae, and Phocidae. Odobenidae is a family of pinnipeds, the only living species of which is the walrus. Previously the group had several species but they became extinct.Otariidae is the family of pinnipeds that is known mainly as eared seal and has mainly animals such as sea lions and fur seals that are characterized mainly by external ears. Phocidae is the family of pinnipeds known as earless seals or true seals.

Comparative chart

Stamp Sea lion
Family Seal belongs to the Phocidae family. Sea Lion belongs to the family Otariidae
External ear muffs It lacks external ears. Have external ear turns
Use of fins for swimming Seals use rear flippers to power while swimming and use front flippers to steer when swimming. Sea lions use front flippers to power when swimming and use the black flippers to steer while swimming.
Ground movement Seals crawl on the ground like caterpillars. Sea lions can walk or even run on land.

What is Seal?

The seal is the semi-aquatic mammal that comes from the Phocidae family and lacks external fins. They are referred to as earless or true seals. The other seal that we know as the pinniped group is the fur seal, which belongs to the Otariidae family and has external ear flaps. The Seal referred to here is the true seal belonging to the Phocidae family and is characterized by the absence of external earmuffs. Seals use hind flippers while swimming and use their front flippers as direction when swimming. Since they cannot rotate their rear flippers, they use front flippers to do the movement on the ground, which is generally a caterpillar-like movement.

What is the sea lion?

Seal Lion is the semi-aquatic mammal that comes from Otariidae, which is the family of pinnipeds that is commonly known as eared seal. One of the famous types of seals, sea lions also belong to a group similar to the sea lion in that they have external ear flaps. Unlike seals, their hind flippers can also rotate and with them they can even walk or run on the land. That is also one of the reasons why seals are preferred for participation in circuses or other similar events. They have large front flippers compared to seals, although they lack claws or hair.

Seal against sea lion

  • The seal belongs to the Phocidae family and has no external ear flaps, while the sea lion belongs to the Otariidae family and has external ear flaps.
  • Seals use rear flippers for power while swimming and use the front flippers to steer when swimming, while sea lions use front flippers for power while swimming and use the black flippers to steer while swimming.
  • Seals crawl on land like caterpillars, while sea lions can walk or even run on land.

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