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January 30, 2009
The Galapagos Island fur seals are a species of marine mammal found on the coast of the Galapagos Islands in the eastern Pacific. The scientific name Arctocephalus galapagoensis is derived from the Greek phrase “bear head.” The fur seal strongly resembles their carnivorous ancestors, with their large eyes, button-like nose and short-pointed muzzle. These animals take refuge from the sun by hiding in between boulders and ledges. Due to the scarcity of rocky sites, groups of fur seals consisting of six to ten individuals often share an area no larger than 10,764 square feet (1000 sq. m). Mating season takes place during mid-August to mid-November. This time of year presents several advantages, including cooler temperatures, less heat induced stress and a significant increase in food availability. Females will mate a second time just eight days after giving birth. Pups are typically nursed for anywhere between 2 to 3 years.