Sea Lion Point

  • The residents of Sea Lion Point are all South African Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus). This species is found along the south and southwest coast of southern Africa
  • The term fur seals and sea lions are traditionally used for 15 different species, including the South African Fur Seal from the family Otariidae but people often use the terms sea lion, fur seal or seal to refer to approximately 35 different species that have been scientifically classified in the sub-order Pinniped
  • These mammals are anatomically different from the species referred to as seals. Sea Lions have an external ear
  • Sea lions’ flaps and flippers are much longer, which help them with movement on land
  • The males in the Sea Lion Point family are known as bulls and the females as cows
  • South African Fur Seals have a high degree of sexual dimorphism with adult males having greatly enlarged neck and shoulders
  • Females give birth to a single pup each year
  • The brown fur seal is the largest and most robust fur seal
  • Males can differentiate neighbouring males from stranger males, responding more aggressively to the vocalisations of strangers
  • The Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) and the Australian Fur Seal (A. p. doriferus), are almost identical in both anatomy and behaviour. On 1971 The South African Fur Seal and the Australian Fur Seal were granted subspecific status based on one cranial character and separate geographic ranges
  • In the resort, there are total of 45 experienced marine mammal specialists who look after the fur seals at Sea Lion Point. Most have degrees in marine biology, psychology and biological science
  • The Atlantis Marine Mammal Specialists spend nine hours daily working on their relationships with the Sea Lions
  • On average, the Sea Lion Point family consume between 5-10 kg of fish per day, that’s twice the amount of the 420 guests that dine at Atlantis’ seafood restaurant Ossiano each week
  • Despite appearing hyperactive and energetic, Sea Lions do love a nap, sleeping an average of 17–32 percent of the day
  • Despite never being fussy for fish, the Sea Lion Point family do have their favourite dishes. Herring, Smelt, Capelin and Squid all get the best reviews during dinner time
  • Pinnipeds (Fur-seals, sea lions, walruses, etc) are members of the suborder Caniformia, which literally means "dog-shaped carnivores."
  • Fur Seal pups are utterly dependent on their moms for the first six months and are not usually wholly weaned until almost a year old. This means that moms are having to travel further for food, leaving pups for longer periods between feeding. If the females are unable to find enough food they will not produce adequate milk to nurse their pup.
  •  Fur Seals, like many marine mammals, can see well both above and below the surface of the water. Unlike humans, they may not see in colour, but can possibly discriminate colours in the blue-green spectrum. All pinnipeds have a membrane at the back of each eye called a tapetum lucidum to aid in night vision. Cats also have a tapetum lucidum, which is why the eyes of both cats and sea lions glow at night. On land, their eyes are protected by a nictitating membrane, which wipes away sand and debris.
  • Fur Seals often rest and sleep on land and in the water. They sleep in shorter bursts of time to total of around 12 hours.