Head and body length, males 200-250 cm; females 150-200 cm
Males 200-400 kg; females 50-110 kg
Estimated at 14,000-16,000
Cool, fish-rich waters near the coast; on land it prefers sandy or rock flat beaches with vegetation for shade
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador Plata Island, Ecuador
Who's the biggest bully on the beach? In the case of the Galapagos sea lion, each colony has its own top bull—a dominant male who keeps busy pushing, biting and barking at invading bachelors. It's an exhausting role, which helps explain why colony leaders have an average tenure of less than a month. Life is a little less stressful in the water, where the exceptionally powerful diver makes short of fish, octopi and crustaceans. But there are things to worry about even there, including the devastating effects of El Nino and the chance that the sea lions inquisitive nature will bring it too close to humans and the potentially fatal dangers that accompany them.