Animals in Southeast Pacific

Below you can find a complete list of Southeast Pacific Ocean animals. We currently track 107 animals in the Southeast Pacific and are adding more every day!

The Southeast Pacific ocean is found south of the equator and east of the international dateline to the coast of southern South America and down to the Straits of Magellan where it meets the South Atlantic ocean. Like the rest of the Pacific, the southeast Pacific ocean is rich in wildlife, with species that are abundant and common and species that are unique and rare. The following are some facts about the animals of the southeast Pacific.

The Official National Animals in Southeast Pacific

The southeast Pacific does not have a national animal, but the national animals of the countries that border it are:

Where To Find The Top Wild Animals in Southeast Pacific

The top wildlife in the southeast Pacific ocean can be found anywhere from its beaches and rocky cliffs to its depths. Both the Galapagos Islands, which are mostly in the southeast Pacific, and Easter Island have a wealth of rare and unique wildlife. For example, the world’s only marine iguana is found in the Galapagos Islands. This black or grayish reptile has a more blunt snout than its land-dwelling cousin and pyramid-shaped scales down its back. Other top animals in the Southeast Pacific include:

  • Scalloped hammerhead shark – This shark not only has a hammer attached to its head, but the hammer is scalloped. The animal’s eyes are on either end of the hammer. Males can be a little less than 6 feet long, but the larger females can be over 8 feet long and at around 180 pounds weigh over twice as much as the males.
  • Waved Albatross – One unique feature of this bird is the stomach oil it produces to feed its chicks, repel its enemies and use it as an energy source. Another is the salt gland that flushes excess salt from its body.
  • Galapagos Shark – This animal is a type of requiem shark. These sharks get their name from “requin,” which is French for shark, or a verb that describes baring the teeth in a grimace.
  • Galapagos Sea Lion -This graceful and playful pinniped is the smallest of the sea lions. Sea lions differ from seals in that they use all four of their legs to walk, and they have external ears.
  • Galapagos Fur Seal – These animals are more sea lions than seals since they have external ears. They live in colonies on Galapagos Island beaches.
  • Galapagos Green Turtle -Though these turtles are at home in the Pacific Ocean, they are often found in lagoons where they eat seagrass. Females famously come ashore to lay eggs, then return to the sea, never to see their hatchlings.
  • Blue-footed Booby – This marine bird is famous for its sapphire-blue feet that the male displays during courtship. Because they dive into the water for fish, their nostrils are sealed shut, and they have to breathe through the edges of their mouth.
  • Sally Lightfoot Crab – This is a very abundant crab found on the coasts of South America and the Galapagos. Though the young are black or gray, adults can be brilliantly colored.
  • Whale Shark -The whale shark is not a whale, but it is a shark, as its skeleton is made of cartilage and not bone. At 62 feet in length, it’s the largest fish in the world but is peaceable and feeds on plankton. It can live as long as 130 years.
  • Sunfish – The sunfish or common mola is a huge, odd fish that looks like a pancake with fins at the back. It can weigh over a ton, and the female produces an astounding number of eggs at one time. Three hundred million eggs are not uncommon for this fish.
  • Ghost Crab – Ghost crabs get their name because they are pale and nocturnal. They both hunt for live prey and scavenge.
  • Blacktip Shark – This medium size shark is named for the black markings on the tips of its fins.
  • Chilean Jack Mackerel – Some interesting facts about this fish are that it’s not a mackerel at all but a jack, and it forms huge schools. These schools are irresistible to commercial fisheries, and now countries are working to support the jack mackerel’s population.
  • Red-lipped Batfish – This weird little fish not only has bright red lips but uses its fins to walk over the floor of the ocean.
  • Easter Island Butterflyfish – This fish has a flattened body that reminds some people of the shape of a butterfly. Its body is silver-gray and edged in white. It’s only found around Easter Island.
  • De Filippi’s Petrel – This seabird breeds off the coast of Chile in the Desventuradas Islands.
  • Deep-dwelling Moray Eel – This predatory eel can be found as deep as 820 feet in the ocean.
  • Randall’s Frogfish – This frogfish is found in the waters off Easter Island and waits beneath rocks for prey to come close enough for an ambush.
  • Cetaceans found in the southeast Pacific include sperm whales, killer whales, Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, and several species of dolphins.

The Most Dangerous Animals In Southeast Pacific Today

Some of the most dangerous animals in the Southeast Pacific are the:

  • Cone Snail: Many of these snails have a beautiful shell, but they must not be handled if they’re found washed up on a beach or in a coral reef. Venomous cone snails are called cigarette snails because if they sting a person, the venom can kill in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette.
  • Blacktip Shark: This shark can become dangerous if it senses food in the area and has been known to attack people. Some facts about this shark are that the females can reproduce asexually, and they sometimes leap out of the water and spin in the air.
  • Stingray: These cartilaginous fish come with a venous stinger in the tail. Though the sting is excruciating and deaths are rare, one of these fish killed naturalist Steve Irwin.
  • Barracuda: Some fear this ferocious, many-fanged fish more than sharks. They sometimes mistake bright, shiny jewelry for prey.

Endangered Animals

Unfortunately, many animals in the southeast Pacific are endangered. This is due to overfishing, climate change and pollution. Being tangled up in nets, caught by hooks, or ingesting poisons meant for other species also adds to mortality. Endangered animals include:

Southeast Pacific Ocean Animals

Albacore Tuna

The albacore is a very fast swimmer

Albatross

The largest wingspan of any bird in the world!

Anchovies

November 12th is celebrated as National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day

Angelfish

There are 70 different species!

Barnacle

Closely related to crabs and lobsters!

Barracuda

Can grow to nearly 2 meters long!

Bird

Not all birds are able to fly!

Black Marlin

Every black marlin is born as a female.

Blobfish

One of the ugliest creatures in existence!

Blue Shark

Blue sharks can have up to 135 pups at a time.

Blue Whale

The largest animal on Earth

Bluefin Tuna

The bluefin is one of the largest fish in the world

Bonito Fish

May eat squid or other small invertebrate ocean life

Bonnethead Shark

Bonnetheads are the only hammerhead sharks that use their pectoral fins to swim.

Borneo Elephant

The smallest species of elephant!

Bottlenose Dolphin

Stays in groups from 15 to 2,000 in number!'

Bull Shark

Unpredictable and aggressive temperament!

Butterfly Fish

There are more than 100 different species!

Chimaera

Also called ghost shark

Clownfish

Also known as the anemonefish!

Colossal Squid

Can survive eating a single fish for months

Cookiecutter Shark

The cookiecutter shark takes its name because it leaves a cookie-shaped bite hole in its prey.

Coral

Thought to be around 70,000 different species!

Crab

There are 93 different crab groups

Crested Penguin

Has long yellow eyebrows!

Cuttlefish

Found throughout the world's oceans!

Dolphin

Can reach speeds of up to 25 mph!

Drum Fish

The drum fish makes a croaking sound with its swimming bladder!

Dugong

Closely related to the Manatee!

Dusky Dolphin

Communicates using whistles, squeaks and clicks!

Eel

Eels can be a mere few inches long to 13 feet!

Elephant Seal

The largest species of seal in the world!

False Killer Whale

The false killer whale looks like a cross between a dolphin and orca!

Fangtooth

Has the largest teeth compared to body size of any known fish

Fin Whale

Found throughout ocean waters worldwide!

Fish

Respire through the gills on their heads!

Flounder

A flat fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific!

Fly

There are more than 240,000 different species!

Flying Fish

Can glide in the air for hundreds of feet

Frigatebird

Found inhabiting tropical islands and coasts!

Garden Eel

Garden eel colonies are made up of hundreds to thousands of individuals.

Giant Clam

Can reach nearly 4ft in length!

Great White Shark

Can grow to more than 8 meters long!

Grey Reef Shark

One of the most common shark species!

Hagfish

Can use slime to suffocate marine predators or escape capture

Hammerhead Shark

Found in coastal waters around the world!

Harbor Seal

Harbor seals can dive as deep as 1400 feet

Hermit Crab

There are over 500 different species!

Herring

People enjoy the taste of the oily fish in many different ways including pickled, smoked, salted, dried and fermented.

Horseshoe Crab

Changed little in over 500 million years!

Humpback Whale

There are thought to be 80,000 left in the wild!

Immortal Jellyfish

Excellent hitchhiker on long-trip cargo ships

Insects

There are an estimated 30 million species!

Jellyfish

Have tentacles around their mouths!

Killer Whale

Typically consumes over 200 kg of food a day!

King Crab

Can have a leg span of nearly 2 meters!

Krill

The krill is perhaps the most important animal in the marine ecosystem!

Lionfish

Females can release up to 15,000 eggs at a time!

Little Penguin

The smallest species of penguin!

Lobster

Have been known to reach 100 years old!

Manta Ray

Can grow up to 9m wide!

Milkfish

Females lay up to 5 million eggs at one time in warm, shallow and salty waters

Moray Eel

Can grow to nearly 2 meters in length!

Octopus

There are around 300 different species!

Oyster

Can process up to 10 litres of water an hour!

Penguin

Spends 75% of it's time hunting for food!

Prawn

Closely related to crabs and lobsters!

Pufferfish

The second most poisonous creature in the world!

Sand Tiger Shark

The sand tiger is the shark most commonly seen in aquariums.

Sardines

Schools of sardines can be miles long and are often visible from an airplane

Sawfish

Sawfish teeth keep growing as the fish gets older

Scorpion Fish

There are more than 200 recognised species!

Sea Dragon

Inhabits tropical coastal waters of Australia!

Sea Lion

It's flippers allow it to walk on the land

Sea Slug

All sea slugs have both male and female sex organs

Sea Squirt

There are more than 3,000 known species!

Sea Turtle

Always return to the same beach to lay eggs!

Sea Urchin

Can live for up to 200 years!

Seahorse

Males give birth to up to 1,000 offspring!

Seal

There are 30 different species worldwide!

Shark

No shark species has any bones in their bodies

Shrimp

There are 2,000 different species worldwide!

Sixgill shark

The sixgill shark has six pairs of gills instead of the normal five

Skipjack Tuna

The skipjack is the most commonly caught tuna in the world

Sleeper Shark

The Greenland shark is one of the longest living vertebrates in the world.

Snail

There are nearly 1,000 different species!

Sperm Whale

Each tooth weighs 1kg!

Spinner Shark

Can have up to 20 babies

Spiny Dogfish

Found in ocean waters worldwide!

Sponge

There are more than 9,000 known species!

Squid

Some species are known to have 10 arms!

Starfish

Has 2 stomachs to aid digestion!

Stingray

It's stinger is razor-sharp or serrated!

Tang

Found around shallow coral reefs!

Tarpon

Its genus dates back to the Cretaceous period – 113 million years ago

Toadfish

Can be heard out of water

Tropicbird

Nests on tropical islands and cliffs!

Tuna

The tuna has a sleek body that enables it to swim quickly through the water

Vaquita

Smallest cetacean in the ocean

Wandering Albatross

Featured in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Whale Shark

The largest species of fish in the world!

Wrasse

There are more than 500 different species!

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

The rarest species of penguin!

Yellowfin Tuna

The yellowfin forms schools with other tuna species

Zebra Shark

Can get to be 30 years old in the wild!

Southeast Pacific Ocean Animals List

Animals in Southeast Pacific FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many animals live in the Southeast Pacific Ocean?

It is safe to say billions of animals live in the southeast Pacific Ocean. Some of these animals are microscopic, like those that make up zooplankton, and others are large, such as whale sharks and sunfish.