SOUTH AMERICAN SEA LION (Otaria flavescens) - ©Laura Quick*
Sunning on the rocks at the rookery on the Ballestas Islands - the Galapagoes of Peru
- As its name suggests, the South American sea lion is found along the coast and offshore islands of South America.
- Locally, it is known by several names though the most common ones are “lobo marino” (sea wolf) and “león marino” (sea lion)
- South American sea lions feed on a variety of fish including Argentine hake and anchovies.
- They also eat cephalopods, such as shortfin squid, Patagonian squid and octopus.
- They have even been observed preying on penguins, pelicans and young South American Fur Seals.
- South American sea lions normally hunt in shallow waters less than five miles from shore.
- They often forage at the ocean floor for slow moving prey but they will also hunt schooling prey in groups.
- The sea lions themselves are preyed on by orcas and sharks.
©laura quick - Sea lions on the Ballestas Islands - the Galapagoes of Peru