The sea lion is the most common mammal on the Galapagos Islands. They move into large colonies on rocks and sandy shores on the islands. Sea lions will haul into the water and cool off as needed.
Sea lions will often try to rest on boats, which can cause them to sink. Fishermen attempt to combat this by placing barbed wire on the boats, in turn severely damaging and in some cases even killing the sea lions. Introduced species, such as dogs, carry diseases that can spread to sea lions. The effects of climate change and rising temperatures are decreasing the abundance of their fish prey.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Sea lions are able to dive up to 600 feet for food in the water. They can remain under the water for up to 40 minutes before they must surface for air.
- Sea lions often suffer from an array of health problems associated with humans, such as pneumonia, epilepsy, and various forms of cancer. Interestingly, research has shown that sea lions are immune to these diseases so long as they are fed milk from their mothers.
- The sea lion's scientific name is Zalophus wollebaeki.
- The sea lion has been classified as endangered by the IUCN.