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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

South American Fur Seal Arctocephalus australis

Once found along the entire length of South America’s southern coasts, this fur seal now breeds on offshore islands, where it faces less disturbance from humans.

It is blackish gray, with paler undersides in females, and is agile on land, using its flippers to climb steep rocks. Males may be about three times the weight of females. This species feeds mainly at night, hunting fish, squid, lobsters, and crabs, and is itself hunted by sharks and killer whales.

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South American Fur Sealzoom image
  • Order Carnivora
  • Length 4–6 ft (1.4–1.9 m)
  • Weight 130–440 lb (60–200 kg)
  • Depth Habitat Coasts and sea in cold-water regions
  • Distribution Pacific and Atlantic coasts of southern South America, Falkland Islands
South American Fur Seal habitat mapzoom image