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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/351

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SEA-LIONS AND FUR-SEALS.

fur-seal—which shows no fear of man—and "hurries into the water at the first alarm, and there sits, with his head and neck raised above the waves, roaring as loudly as possible, till the intruder is out of sight. Its roar is described as deep and grand, like the howling of a gale through the branches of a forest or rigging of a ship." The species is found on both coasts of the Northern Pacific Ocean, and is the animal which inhabits the "Seal Rocks" of the harbor of San Francisco, and, protected by the law, forms one of the attractions of the city. Its under-fur is so scanty, short, and fine as to be of no use for clothing; but the skin makes an excellent leather, the intestines are used to make water-proof frocks, the whiskers are sold to the Chinese for ornaments, and the flesh, the blubber, the lining of the throat, the skin of the flippers, the stomach, and some of the internal organs, are put to valuable uses.

The southern, or Cook's sea-lion (Otaria jubata, Fig. 6), is found around the coasts of South America from Peru to the Rio de la PSM V34 D351 Southern sea lion otaria jubata.jpgFig. 6.-Southern Sea-Lion (Otaria jubata). Plata. Its specific name is derived from its possession of a mane, or long hair covering its neck and shoulders, which is developed only in the male when he is fully adult. The fur is only sparsely developed in the young, and disappears as the animal grows older.

The Falkland fur-seal (Otaria falklandica), a small species of not more than four feet in length, inhabits the same localities as the jubata. Its habits are identical with those of the northern fur-seal, and its skins, with their thick and soft under-fur, are considered more valuable than those coming from any other region. A similar if not identical species formerly existed in the Australian and New Zealand waters, but it has been exterminated by wasteful hunting, and a correspondent wrote to Mr. Clark a few years ago, "I should as soon expect to meet a sea-lion on London Bridge as on any one of the islands in Bass's Strait." But little is known about the sea-lions of the Cape of Good Hope, which, however, furnish sixty or seventy thousand skins annually to the London market. A reckless system of hunting is tolerated, and the animals are disappearing.

The capture of the seals on the Pribylov Islands is carefully controlled by wise governmental regulations; consequently the animals thrive and are kept up in numbers, while they are fast disappearing in consequence of indiscriminate slaughter from all