South American fur seal

The South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) breeds on the coasts of Peru, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The total population is around 250,000. However, population counts are sparse and outdated.

The population of South American fur seals in 1999 was estimated at 390,000, a drop from a 1987 estimate of 500,000. Although overall species numbers are healthy, the downward trend is causing some concern. Uruguay has the largest numbers of seals along its coast, numbering over 200,000.

South American fur seal
Seebär südamerikanisch Zoo Landau
South American fur seal at Zoo Landau
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Clade: Pinnipedia
Family: Otariidae
Genus: Arctocephalus
A. australis
Binomial name
Arctocephalus australis
(Zimmermann, 1783)
Arctocephalus australis distribution
Distribution of South American Fur Seal


The South American fur seal has a dark grey coat of fur. The males of the species are almost entirely this color, though they may have grey or tan, grizzled markings. The females and subadult males have lighter grey or tan coloring on the chest and muzzle, and may have rust-brown or medium grey fur on their undersides. The muzzle is flat-topped and pointed, with a medium-sized nose. The nostrils are forward-facing and the nose extends past the mouth. The ear pinnae are long and prominent, and the vibrissae of adults are creamy white and of relatively short length. Adult males are larger than females, with thicker necks and larger shoulders. Males also develop manes of longer guard hairs on their heads and shoulders.[2] Size of the seals varies based on region, but on average, adult males measure up to 2 m long and weigh 150–200 kg and females measure up to 1.5 m long and weigh 30–60 kg.[3] Newborns are 60 to 65 cm and 3.5 to 5.5 kg.

Distribution and habitat

The South American fur seal is found on neotropical ocean coasts from the Paracas Peninsula of southern Peru south to Cape Horn on the Pacific coast, and northward to southern Brazil on the Atlantic coast. They are also found on the Falkland Islands, Staten Island, and Escondida Island.[4] A. australis seals prefer rocky shores and islands, particularly those with steep slopes, which provide shady areas where they can escape the heat of the sun. They have been found in sea caves in Peru, where some climb up to 15 m to find a spot to rest. There have been isolated records from continental Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands, and the Gorgona Island (Colombia). Anatomical information for the southern fur seals, Arctocephalus spp., is scant.[5] In addition, little is known about the foraging ecology of South American fur seals.


Two subspecies are currently recognised:[6]

  • A. a. australis - Falkland Islands
  • A. a. gracilis - South America

The New Zealand fur seal is sometimes considered a subspecies of A. australis.[6]


  1. ^ Campagna, C.; IUCN SSC Pinniped Specialist Group (2008). "Arctocephalus australis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 January 2009.
  2. ^ Marine Mammals > Species: Arctocephalus australis (South American fur seal) Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ South American Fur Seal, Arctocephalus australis at
  4. ^ ADW: Arctocephalus australis: Information
  5. ^ William Pérez, Helena Katz, Martin Lima. Gross heart anatomy of Arctocephalus australis (Zimmerman, 1783)Anatomical Science International (OnlineEarly Articles). doi:10.1111/j.1447-073X.2007.00189.x
  6. ^ a b Berta, A. & Churchill, M. (2012). "Pinniped Taxonomy: evidence for species and subspecies". Mammal Review. 42 (3): 207–234. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00193.x.

External links

  • Fur seal preys on penguin
  • Randall R. Reeves; Brent S. Stewart; Phillip J. Clapham; James A. Powell (2002). National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN 0375411410.
A. australis

A. australis may refer to:

An abbreviation of a species name. In binomial nomenclature the name of a species is always the name of the genus to which the species belongs, followed by the species name (also called the species epithet). In A. australis the genus name has been abbreviated to A. and the species has been spelled out in full. In a document that uses this abbreviation it should always be clear from the context which genus name has been abbreviated.

Some of the most common uses of A. australis are:

Aedes australis, a New Zealand brackish water mosquito species

Agathis australis, the kauri, a coniferous tree species found north of 38°S in the northern districts of New Zealand's North Island

Alsodes australis, a frog species found in Argentina and Chile

Amaranthus australis, the southern amaranth or southern water-hemp, a plant species found in many Southern states, Mexico, the West Indies and South America

Anchitherium australis, a prehistoric horse species in the genus Anchitherium

Androctonus australis, a fat-tailed scorpion species found throughout the semi-arid and arid regions of the Middle-East and Africa

Apteryx australis, the Southern brown kiwi, tokoeka or common kiwi, a bird species from New Zealand's South Island

Arctocephalus australis, the South American fur seal, a fur seal species that breeds on the coasts of Chile and Argentina

Asota australis, a moth species found in Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea


The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."


Fanning may refer to:

Fanning (surname)

Fanning (firearms), a shooting technique in which one hand holds a revolver and the other hits the hammer repeatedly

Fanning friction factor, a dimensionless number used in fluid flow calculations

Fan dance, a dance art form

Sector (disambiguation)#Geometry

USS Fanning, ships of the United States Navy


Wildlands, also known as Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen, is a zoo in Emmen, the Netherlands. It opened in March 2016, replacing the Emmen Zoo. Wildlands is an adventure theme park with four main areas: Jungola, Serenga, Nortica and Animazia.

Jungola is jungle-themed and displays butterflies, tropical birds, large reptiles (such as Chinese alligators and pythons), ring-tailed lemurs, lar gibbons, small-clawed otters and Asian elephants. The most prominent feature of Jungola is the indoor tropical rainforest hall Rimbula, which at 18,000 m2 (190,000 sq ft) is the largest zoo jungle hall in the world and the largest greenhouse in Europe. Serenga is the African savanna section and is home to species such as lion, Grant's zebras, Rothschild's giraffes, white rhinoceros and hamadryas baboons, but also Australian red-necked wallabies. Nortica is aimed at cold oceans and is home to polar bear, Californian sea lion, South American fur seal and Humboldt penguin. The final main section, Animazia, is a large indoor playground, but also home to an aquarium with species such as corals, green sea turtles and tropical fish.

Extant Carnivora species

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