The California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is a coastal eared seal native to western North America. It is one of six species of sea lions. Its natural habitat ranges from southeast Alaska to central Mexico, including the Gulf of California. California sea lions are sexually dimorphic; males are larger than females, and have a thicker neck, and a protruding sagittal crest. They mainly haul-out on sandy or rocky beaches, but they also frequent manmade environments such as marinas and wharves. California sea lions feed on a number of species of fish and squid, and are preyed on by orcas and great white sharks. California sea lions have a polygynous breeding pattern. From May to August, males establish territories and try to attract females with which to mate. Females are free to move in between territories, and are not coerced by males. Mothers nurse their pups in between foraging trips. California sea lions communicate with numerous vocalizations, notably with barks and mother-pup contact calls. Outside their breeding season, California sea lions spend much of their time at sea, but they come to shore to molt. California sea lions are particularly intelligent, can be trained to perform various tasks and display limited fear of humans if accustomed to them. Because of this, California sea lions are a popular choice for public display in zoos, circuses and oceanariums, and are trained by the United States Navy for certain military operations. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the species as Least Concern due to its abundance. To protect fish, the US states of Oregon and Washington engage in annual kill quotas of California sea lions. The California sea lion was described by René Primevère Lesson, a French naturalist, in 1828. It is grouped with other sea lions and fur seals in the family Otariidae. Otariids, also known as eared seals, differ from true seals in having external ear flaps, and proportionately larger foreflippers and pectoral muscles. Along with the Galapagos sea lion and the extinct Japanese sea lion, the California sea lion belongs to the genus Zalophus, which derives from the Greek words za, meaning "intensive," and lophus, meaning "crest." This refers to the protruding sagittal crest of the males, which distinguishes members of the genus.