Watch limber northern fur seals fly through the water and California sea lions at play in this beautiful open-air exhibit space. 

During each training session, the Aquarium’s marine mammal trainers highlight the seals’ strength, intelligence, and athleticism.

Learn about the challenges marine mammals face in the wild, and get a new perspective on these fascinating marine mammals. Discover Life According to Fur Seals as they splash their way into your heart while you learn how scientists—and the Aquarium—are working to help protect this extraordinary species. 

playful sealion leaps out of water


Unlike the resident Atlantic harbor seals, northern fur seals and California sea lions are part of the family of “eared” seals. In addition to having visible ears atop their head, these animals also have the ability to rotate their flippers forward and “walk” on land. Both are adapted to the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, yet use different adaptions to stay warm. Sea lions grow thick layers of blubber; fur seals stay warm with a particularly thick coat of fur.


The New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center provides plenty of cool water, shallows, and deck space for both the sea lions and fur seals to use. You may find them lounging on the deck, playing in the shallows, or zooming around the exhibit space. In the wild, both animals spend time on land for breeding and rest, and in the water to forage for food. California seal lions are known to haul out onto man-made docks and wharves all along the West Coast.