Canine teeth comparison - Steller sea lion to harbor seal

 Adult harbor seal canine tooth vs Steller sea lion canine tooth. Photo: J. Gaydos

Adult harbor seal canine tooth vs Steller sea lion canine tooth. Photo: J. Gaydos

Did you know that seals, sea lions and other animals put down annular growth rings on their teeth? This means that you can age an animal that has died by counting the growth rings on a sectioned tooth much like you can do for a tree that has been cut down. We were pulling teeth to age some stranded animals as part of our collaborative work with the Whale Museum and San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network and were once again amazed at how large Steller sea lions are. Check out this shot comparing lower canines of an adult harbor seal and a Steller sea lion!