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Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-26
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-04 7:54
Viewed: 4093
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot on a whale watching trip from Torfino on the western side (ie Pacific Ocean side) of Vancouver Island. As usual the rookery was alive with noise - and smells! These three juveniles were engaged in a loud argument.

The Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus, also known as the northern sea lion, is a sea lion of the northern Pacific. It is the sole member of the genus Eumetopias and the largest of the eared seals (Otariidae). Among pinnipeds, it is inferior in size only to the walrus and the two elephant seals. The species is named for the naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller who first described them in 1741. The Steller sea lion has attracted considerable attention in recent decades due to significant, unexplained declines in their numbers over a large portion of their range in Alaska.

Adult animals are lighter in color than most sea lions (though,in my experience female Australian and Hooker's Sea lions are much lighter) ranging from pale yellow to tawny and occasionally reddish. Females tend to be slightly lighter than the males. Steller sea lion pups are born almost black, weighing around 23 kg (50 lbs), and remain dark for several months. Females and males both grow rapidly until the fifth year, after which female growth slows down considerably, attaining on average 2.5 m (8 feet) in length and 300 kg (660 lbs). Males continue to grow until their secondary sexual traits appear in their fifth to eighth year. While only slightly longer than the females (2.8-3.3 m), males have much wider chests, necks and general forebody structure and weigh 600-1100 kg (1300-2500 lbs). Males are further distinguished by broader, higher foreheads, flatter snouts, and darker, slightly tuftier hair around their large necks, giving them a maned appearance. Indeed, their Latin name translates roughly as: "maned one with the broad forehead".

Reproductively mature male sea lions aggregate in May on traditional, well-defined reproductive rookeries, usually on beaches on isolated islands. The larger, older males establish and defend distinct territories on the rookery. A week or so later, adult females arrive, accompanied occasionally by sexually immature offspring, and form fluid aggregations throughout the rookery. Like all other otariids, Steller sea lions are polygynous. However, unlike most other species, they do not coerce individual females into harems but control spatial territories among which females freely move about.

Pregnant females give birth soon after arriving on a rookery, and copulation generally occurs one to two weeks after giving birth, but the fertilized egg does not become implanted in the uterus until the fall. After a week or so of nursing without leaving the rookery, females begin to take progressively longer and more frequent foraging trips leaving their pups behind, until at some point in late summer the mother and pup both leave the rookery. Reproductive males fast throughout the reproductive season, often without entering the water once from mid-May until August, at which point the structure of the reproductive rookeries begins to fall apart and most animals leave for the open seas and disperse throughout their range.

Age at weaning is highly variable, pups may remain with their mothers for as long as 4 years. Incidents of mothers feeding daughters who are simultaneously feeding their own newborn pups have been documented, an extremely rare occurrence among mammals

vanderschelden, Dis. Ac., jaycee, rousettus, nglen, boreocypriensis, maurydv, CeltickRanger, goldyrs, Adanac, Luis52, gracious, rcrick, JPlumb has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello James,
You can see your 300 is okay now:-)
Very good content and a decisive moment you captured here.
Well done

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-06-04 8:47]

Hi James,
great shot, well timed from a great POV - i take it you were in the customary Zodiac?

Hello James,

Good notes, but first very good picture from these sea lions.
Nice oment.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-06-04 9:33]

Hi James,

I love this shot! Great timing to get this one. The two are really going at it. Looks to me like the third one is telling them to shut up so he can get some sleep. It's funny that the others are completely oblivious to what is going on. Besides the great subject matter the picture is technically excellent.


  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-06-04 10:11]

Hi James,

I see your lense is working fine again after repairs,well captured scene with nice action (ok one is sleeping),well done and tfs


Hello James
excellent scene and perfect capture for Eumetopias jubatus which I know it only from documentary films and our biology lessons. You are lucky to see them. Your post also wonderful with sharp focus, POV and composition. Coloration superb. Thanks for sharing, best wishes

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-06-04 12:00]

Hi James. Firstly interesting notes thanks for taking the time to write them . Great timing to get this one love the look on the face of the back one. good detail and colours. Look like two naughty boys fighting. TFS.

Hi James, my dear friend, wonderful capture of these Steller sea lions with their lovely behaviours my friend. TFS.


Bellissimo momento di cattura per questo ritratto di gruppo, ottimi POV e composizione, molto buona la definizione dei dettagli, molto belli i colori e il contrasto dei chiaroscuri. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

hello James

wonderful nature shot of these Sea Lions, with very fine POV & DOF,
excellennt warm luminosity and density of the colours,
great contrast, sharpness and details, and i love that cute face
of the one that is sleeping, TFS


A lovely, sharp shot, James.The timing is perfect.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-06-04 20:09]

Hello James, The gang around them looked bored, very clear and crisp image James. I love Tofino area very much, thanks for sharing my friend.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-06-04 20:33]

Hola James.
Lovely image James. An excellent note too.
Shoud be nice to be there and look to this Steller Sea lion.
Is everything Ok My friend. take good care.

Hello James,
This is truly a wonderful work on the 1Ds!
the image is so real with absolute sharpness, beautiful colouration and details
many thanks for the sharing

Hey James,

Great notes on these amazing creatures, the detail and the clarity is just superb, so much going on and yet the one on the right is clearly enjoying a snooze, excellent work mate, all the best.

Cheers Rick :)

Hello James, very good natural capture of these arguing Sea Lions. It's interesting that while these three can carry on, obviously with some volume, others around them can totally ignore them and sleep through the ruckus. Very nice detail seen here, with great light and colour.

Thanks, John

Hi James
Your image tells a nice story and is well named. Nice and sharp with good contrast.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-05 2:32]

Excellent shot, James!
Extremely good detail and great clarity.
Funny poses :-)
Natural lighting and colours.
Looks like you got some awesome shots in Canada! Looking very much forward to more :-)


This is a really clear image James.
The lions look like they are actually live in front of me.
Good moment.

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