SEA LION, STELLAR

Under Construction May 2011

STELLER SEA LION

Eumetopias jubatus

GUARD HAIR

Length: 20mm (Mayer 1952), 12-20 mm (ASM #1)

Diameter Range: 190 microns  (Mayer 1952), 155-195 microns (ASM #1).

Medullary Index: 0.22 (ASM #1)

Medulla:  Present but fragmentary and occupies less than half the width of the shaft (Mayer 1952). Medulla appears fragmentary, occurring in small clusters that take on organic shapes, some of which resemble small circles and half moons, while others are less defined. Many of these clusters do not touch one another and they are air-filled (ASM #1).

Color: There is a yellow orange cast to the hair and some of the fibers show small brown dashes of pigmentation.  These resemble beard stubble, or long dashes. (ASM#1).

Scales: Irregular with smooth margins near base, irregular closely spaced rough margins in middle, close-spaced rough edges and more evenly-spaced almost parallel edges near tip.  Tips tend to be frayed.

UNDERFUR

Length: 2-5mm (ASM #1)

Diameter Range: 25 microns

Medullary Index: N/A

Medulla: Appear to have no medulla

Color: has a slightly yellowish cast to it.

Scales: Stacked crowns

Macro Qualities: No spots on ASM pelt.  6.1 – 10.5 feet long.  Not much undercoat.  Males are buff colored with red-brown coloration on their undersides, while females tend to be brown all over (Forsyth 1999). 45” long at birth.  Body length for adults 9-11 feet (ADF&G 2008).  Females 7 feet long and up to 600lbs, males 9 feet long and average 1500lbs up to 2400 lbs.  (NPS 2010).

Cultures: For example: Aleut, Alutiiq, Central Yup’ik (ADF&G 2008).  Skin dehaired and tanned for armor Emmons (1991) The Tlingit Indians University of Washington Press, Seattle. p.175

Notes: ASM #1 is a full pelt in the ASM education collection.  Sometimes California Sea Lions are also seen, but between 1974 and 2004 sightings were very rare.  Are they moving north slowly?

Troubleshooting:  Otariid seal guard hair has a medulla, while Phocid seal guard hair does not.  Can look similar to otters in that the medulla is narrow, but in otters it gets wider at the tip end, otter hair has a shield and seal hair does not.  (Mayer 1952)  Underfur is stacked crowns and not the elongated petal shapes seen in fur seal and otters.

Range:  Aleutian Islands, central Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and southeasten Alaska (ADF&G 2008) Aleutian islands, coastal areas of Southern Alaska and the southeast. (Forsyth 1999)

Names: Suborder/superfamily Pinnipedia (the pinnipeds)  Family Otarvidae (the otarvids)  qawax (Aleut), wiinaq (Alutiiq) uginaq or sometimes apakcuk (Central Yup’ik.)  Russian word translates as “Sea wolf” (ADF&G 2008) “seevichie” in Aleut and “sivuch” by Russians (NPS 2010)

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