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Australian Sea Lion

Stefan Andrews

Great Southern Reef Foundation

Great Southern Reef Foundation

The playful Australian Sea Lion is a fascinating creature and one of the rarest in the world. Their entire population lives along the southern and western coastlines of the Great Southern Reef with about 85% living in South Australia and the other 15% in Western Australia, and they are the only endemic pinniped in all of Australia. Agile in both the water and on land, the Australian sea lion uses their front flippers to prop themselves up and their back flippers to help them “walk” on land. In the water they use their flippers to propel themselves and their back flippers also work as a rudder to steer. Sea lions can hold their breath up to 12 minutes. They are referred to as benthic foragers meaning they feed from the sea floor on species like cuttlefish, octopus, small rays, sharks and rock lobster.

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