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Keywords:

  • sexual maturity;
  • gonadal hormones;
  • seasonal growth;
  • social organization;
  • aggression;
  • reproduction;
  • territoriality;
  • fattening;
  • sea lions

Abstract

A captive colony of male sea lions (Zalophus californianus) living in northern California shows an annual weight fluctuation related to their reproductive season. Seasonal fattening, which is associated with an increase in territorial displays, starts developing at 5 years of age, when a sagittal crest first becomes apparent, and becomes more prominent as the males reach full maturity.