Mothers Use Unique Calls
to Communicate with Their Pups
What kind of sounds do sea lions make?
A barking sound? Sure, but that is only one of many different vocalizations.
Did you know that California sea lions and northern fur seals have a specific call between mothers and their pups? Sea lion and fur seal pups are born on land. Their mothers will go back into the water to hunt for food then return to shore to nurse their pups. When mom returns, both she and her pup use sounds to find each other. Like humans, seals and sea lions have different voices and can recognize each other by their call.
Here is an audio recording of calls between a northern fur seal mother and pup:
Ursula calls out to her pup
Here is a recording of calls between a California sea lion mother and pup:
Tipper calls out to her pup, Ron
Fur seals and sea lions are not the only mammals that recognize different voices. Humans are skilled in recognizing voices too. Have you ever picked up the phone, without checking who the caller was, only to know who is on the other line just by the voice? Or maybe watched an animated movie and was able to guess who the voice actor was without checking the credits?