Sea Lion Evolution
Sea Lion Ancestors
The story behind Sea Lion evolution is one that has many variations to it. What it really comes down to is who is telling the story. Scientific research has some of the answers but not enough to really to give us good answers. It isn’t that people don’t want to tell you the truth. Rather it is just that their viewpoint on the evidence is different. Some are focused on the evidence that is there while others focus on what isn’t there. Either way it leads to some very interesting theories.
There is evidence to suggest that they were part of earlier times, maybe 23 million years ago. However, they didn’t undergo the vast evolution that many other mammals did. It is believed that they may have been only land animals though. Perhaps they had to evolve to get the webbed feet and the flippers in order to survive in the water. They still get around well on land. It is believed by many that their evolution to the water was due to a lack of food on land.
Others believe that the evolution may have been trigged by changes in the environmental temperatures. Since it was too hot on land but cooler in the water they spent more and more time there. This is why they evolved in ways that allowed them to do well in the water. At the same time though they never lost their love for the sun and that is why they continue to bask in it frequently today.
There is plenty of evidence to prove that the Sea Lion was a good swimmer many millions of years ago. What may have gotten stronger was their flippers which make it easier for them to swim even though the ability to do so was already there. Based on some of the earliest fossils, it is believed that the Sea Lion was also smaller, such as the size of the Otter when it was mainly on land.
What is responsible then for the larger sizes? Many researchers believe it has to do with the need for blubber to keep them warm in the water. This is possible since they would need to be able to survive when the water cooled at night as well as during the cooler part of the seasons. This would account for why some of them live in the sub arctic and others in the tropics. They were forced into the waters more due to something occurring on Earth that jeopardized their existence.
Others don’t think that the Sea Lion was similar to an Otter though. Instead they believe they were more closely related to early Walrus. There hasn’t been very much DNA testing to prove these theories one way or another. That type of technology can maybe give us some clarification in it. The fact that not very many Sea Lion fossils have been found also makes learning about their evolution process difficult.
Take all you read about the evolution of Sea Lions with a grain of salt. It could be accurate but it can also be a theory. Only time will tell if we get the complete story that can be verified or not. Hopefully as technology continues to advance and more evidence of their past is found we can put it all together.
Many people feel that the focus needs to be on keeping the number of Sea Lions out there at a decent count though. They would rather worry about the future for the Sea Lion than the past. This makes it very difficult to get the necessary funding to support efforts to look deeper into Sea Lion evolution and the many theories about it.