Galapagos wildlife

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Galapagos Islands sea lions


Each colony, or harem, is composed of a dominant bull and from a few to thirty cows with their young.

Though usually referred to as harems, sea lion colonies are not true harems because females are free to wander from one territory to another. The male as harem is really only a piece of land on which females prefer to lie.

Galapagos sea lions

The dominant bull has a stretch of coastline that he jealously defends against all other adult males. He spends much of his day swimming from one border of his territory to the other. While patrolling his territory he frequently rears his head out of the water to utter a series of barks. These barks are also made underwater and indicate his territorial ownership.

Galapagos sea lion

Galapagos sea lions do not migrate, remaining around the islands all year and feeding at shallow depths, mainly for sardines.  On land this sea lion prefers sandy or rocky flat beaches where there is vegetation for shade, tide pools to keep cool and good access to calm waters. It also spends much of its time in the cool, fish-rich waters that surround the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Sea Lions are especially vulnerable to human activity. Their inquisitive and social nature makes them more likely to approach areas inhabited by humans, to come in contact with human waste and with fishing nets and hooks. Sea Lions can be seen all over the islands. Snorkeling and kayaking with the playful pups is often the highlight of a visit to the Galapagos.

Galapagos Islands aquatic mammals, fur seals
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