Appendix S1. Description of the scat collection and bone analysis methodology.

Appendix S2. Four diet reconstruction models tested in this study. Adapted from Joy et al. (2006).

Figure S1. Mean percentage recovery (%) using otolith and all-structure methods for fish species fed to California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). The mean percentage recovery reported for the all-structure method is calculated using only vertebrae. Error bars = standard error.

Table S1. A sample meal protocol followed during a week of a sea lion trial. All meals were small meals unless otherwise indicated. A small meal is approximately 2.5% of the sea lion mass and a large meal is 5% of the sea lion mass.

Table S2. California sea lions (CSL no.) included in the captive study and the prey species, number of prey fed per meal (n), and mean standard lengths (cm) and weights (g) of prey and meals.

Table S3. Single or paired structures (bones) found in greater numbers (n) in scat and spew of California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) in the captive study and the percentage recovered (%).

Table S4. Bones recovered in scat (with and without spew) that were identified to species.

Table S5. Least-squares linear regression equations used to calculate standard prey length (SL = standard length, DML = dorsal mantle length) and mass (M) from the ventral lengths (VL) or widths (W) of randomly selected left or right otoliths, and upper and lower rostral lengths (URL, LRL) from randomly selected upper or lower rostrums.

Table S6. Grading descriptions for changes in otolith morphology due to digestion: grades low, medium, and high for anchovy, hake, sardine, Pacific mackerel, rockfish, and steelhead smolts and grades low and medium for jack mackerel and pink salmon.

Table S7. Percentage recovery (%) of similar prey items compared with the activity levels of past pinniped captive studies; “na” = not available, “*” = standard error.

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