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Swimming with the Galápagos Sea Lions of Isla Plaza Sur

Travel to Isla Plaza Sur in the Galápagos Islands, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, where the Galápagos Sea Lions play, swim, eat sardines, and sun bathe. This video was filmed underwater and in the air by Florian Fischer and Patricio Garcés as they went diving off the islands’ coasts.

Native to the Galápagos archipelago, Galápagos Sea Lions are the largest animals on the islands, with adult males weighing up to 550 pounds. They’re endangered mammals, threatened by the by the pollution and dog diseases that can accompany humans. From Galapagos.org:

With a population size of about 50,000, the Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus, subspecies: wollebacki) is one of the first animals that visitors to the Galapagos Islands encounter. They can often be found sprawled on the docks or benches where tourists board their cruise boats, and are found lounging on beaches or low rocky shorelines throughout the islands. Their playful and inquisitive behavior makes them a tourist favorite, and lucky divers or snorkelers may be treated to underwater gymnastic displays from these graceful creatures. Despite their curiosity, sea lions are wild animals and can be unpredictable in their behavior – especially the males – and people will occasionally be bitten for not respecting their space and privacy.

Swim with more animals underwater: A Hawksbill turtle snacks on a jellyfish and The Quest for Sea Ice with polar bears. Plus: more videos with pinnipeds (aquatic, fin-footed mammals).

via Laughing Squid.

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