Our featured sea lion for October is ~100 and he is a bit of a mystery to biologists but not to those of you who are helping us classify images on Steller Watch! Many of you have reported sightings of this male sea lion at Cape Wrangell on Attu Island. We have only seen him in person in 2013, the year he was marked.
On June 24, 2013 we captured ~100 and he weighed about 78 Ibs (35 kg), measured almost 4 ft (117 cm) long, and was just over 2.5 ft (78 cm) around his body (or girth, measured just below the front flippers). He was born on Gillon Point on Agattu Island, which is why he has the ~ symbol. We observed him staying at this in the remote camera images until the fall of 2013.
We didn’t see him again until he showed up in remote camera images from Cape Wrangell on Attu Island in the spring of 2014. Perhaps most interesting, he was seen multiple times suckling from a female next to another suckling juvenile that was much larger, likely born a year prior to ~100—this is a rare sight! Since we saw this multiple times, we assume that this female birthed both of these juvenile sea lion since females don’t usually happily nurse sea lions that are not their offspring.
Curious about other pinnipeds (seals and sea lions)? Check out our neighbors in the Pacific Islands to the south, the monk seals of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center features their own Monk Seal of the Month!
We will share the story of one marked sea lion each month. Be sure to check our Sea Lion of the Month page on the 1st of every month to learn about our featured Steller sear lion. You may nominate a sea lion by submitting their full mark on the Sea Lion of the Month nomination forum. Thank you all for your nominations!