South American sea lions or otaria flavescens, also known as southern sea lion, is a pinniped mammal species comprising the family otariidae.
At the beginning, when they are young, they are black. However, when they become adults, they adopt a dark dun colour. Adult males are usually 660 pounds weight, twice the weight of a female, and have a reddish chestnut hair on their neck. That is why they are known as sea lions.
They live in colonies of about 15 individuals made of the mail, its harem and some young specimens. During the summer season, in the months of December and January, they move in order to bear in save areas where thousands of animals congregate. Gestation takes almost a year and only one breeding is born at a time. During the reproduction period, males fight for the control of their territory and for the females. They do not even eat during this period. They live 25-50 years.
They usually eat fish, octopus, squids, penguins and other sea birds. They eat around 30-55 pounds of food a day. Their predator is the killer whale.
They inhabit the South-American coasts, both the Atlantic and the Pacific. They can be seen in the coasts of the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Peru, Chile, Argentina (including the Falklands), Uruguay, Brazil (in the south of Recife dos Tôrres). They have been rarely seen in Colombia or Panama. In the past, they could be seen in Lobos Island (Spain) before fishermen killed them, as they thought the animals? voracity could reduce the sea resources in the area.
An endengared species
Humans hunted them to take their meat and their fat. New-born individuals were often killed to take their skin.