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Arctocephalus australis

Arctocephalus australis (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Carnivora
Subordo: Caniformia
Familia: Otariidae
Subfamilia: Arctocephalinae
Genus: Arctocephalus
Species: Arctocephalus australis


Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1783)

Type locality: Zimmermann (1783) based the name on the "Falkland Isle Seal" of Pennant (1781), and added that it "Wohnt um Juan Fernandez, und über haupt in dortigen Meeren." [Falkland Isls, UK].


* Arctocephalus australis (J. A. Allen, 1880)
* Arctocephalus brachydactyla (Philippi, 1892)
* Arctocephalus falclandica (J. B. Fischer, 1829)
* Arctocephalus grayii Scott, 1873
* Arctocephalus hauvillii (Lesson, 1827)
* Arctocephalus laitirostros J. E. Gray, 1874
* Arctocephalus latirostris (J. E. Gray, 1872)
* Arctocephalus leucostoma (Philippi, 1892)
* Arctocephalus nigrescens (J. E. Gray, 1850)
* Arctocephlaus ursinus J. E. Gray, 1843
* Arctocephalus australis gracilis Nehring, 1887
* Otaria argentata Philippi, 1871
* Otaria shawii Lesson, 1828
* Phoca falklandica Shaw, 1800
* Phoca lupina Molina, 1782


* Zimmermann, E. A. W., von. 1778-1783. Geographische Geschichte des Menschen, und der allgemein verbreiteten vierfussigen Thiere, nebst einer Hieher gehorigen zoologischen Weltcharte. Vol. 2. Geographische Geschichte des Menschen, und der vierfussigen Thiere. Zweiter Band. Enthalt ein vollstandiges. Verzeichniss aller bekannten Quadrupeden. Weygandschen Buchhandlung, Leipzig, 3: 276.
* Allen, J. A. 1880. History of North American pinnipeds: A monograph of the walruses, seal-lions, seabears and seals of North America. United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, Miscellaneous Publication, 12: 1-785.


* Arctocephalus australis on Mammal Species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder
* IUCN link: Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1783) (Least Concern)
* Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1783) Report on ITIS

Vernacular names
English: South American Fur Seal
Español: Lobo Marino Fino, Lobo Marino de Dos Pelos, Lobo Fino Sudamericano, Lobo Fino Austral, Lobo Marino Peletero, Lobo Marino Sudamericano, Otaria de Dos Pelos, Oso Marino
Polski: Kotik południowoamerykański, kot morski
Português: Lobo-marinho-sulamericano


The South American Fur Seal (Arctocephalus australis) is a species of fur seal that breeds on the coasts of Chile and Argentina. The total population is around 250,000.

The population of South American fur seals in 1999 was estimated at 390,000, a drop from a 1987 estimation 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.

Physical description

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 sub-adult 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 a thicker neck and larger shoulders. Males also develop a mane of longer guard hairs on the head 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.


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] Arctocephalus australis 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 meters to find a spot to rest. There have been isolated records from continental Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. Anatomical information for the southern fur seals Arctocephalus spp., is scant (W. Pérez).

The South American fur seal may be featured on the upcoming CBBC television programme Serious Ocean, in the Chilean Pacific region on the fur seal's range.


1. ^ Campagna, C. (IUCN SSC Pinniped Specialist Group) (2008). Arctocephalus australis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 14 January 2009.
2. ^ Marine Mammals > Species: Arctocephalus australis (South american fur seal)
3. ^ South American Fur Seal, Arctocephalus australis at MarineBio.org
4. ^ ADW: Arctocephalus australis: Information

* 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 http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1447-073X.2007.00189.x

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