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The Galapagos fur seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) is endemic to the islands. Like the sealion it is a pinniped, but quite different. Like other seals it does not have external ears. And compared with the sealion, it is about half the size and is adapted to colder waters. Hence it has thicker fur (hence the name) which resulted in extensive hunting during the late 19th through early 20th centuries. This lead to near extinction, but since being protected its numbers have risen to rival those of the sealion—about 50,000. They are less often seen however because they prefer secluded rocky ledges rather than open beaches. Good places to spot them include James and Tower.

Click below to see the photos and information on fur seals:

sleeping furseal


Photo of furseal

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This male furseal was sleeping on a rocky ledge within one of the grottos along the eastern shore of James Island.

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Learn about fur seal natural history

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