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.
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:
- Scalloped hammerhead shark, which is critically endangered.
- Leatherback sea turtle. This is the largest turtle in the world and is either vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List or endangered according to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
- Galapagos fur seal, which is endangered.
- Whale shark, which is also endangered.
- Waved albatross, which is critically endangered.
Southeast Pacific Ocean Animals
Southeast Pacific Ocean Animals List
- Albacore Tuna
- Basking Shark
- Black Marlin
- Blue Shark
- Blue Whale
- Bluefin Tuna
- Bonito Fish
- Bonnethead Shark
- Borneo Elephant
- Bottlenose Dolphin
- Bull Shark
- Butterfly Fish
- Colossal Squid
- Cookiecutter Shark
- Crested Penguin
- Drum Fish
- Dusky Dolphin
- Elephant Seal
- False Killer Whale
- Fin Whale
- Flying Fish
- Garden Eel
- Giant Clam
- Great White Shark
- Grey Reef Shark
- Hammerhead Shark
- Harbor Seal
- Hermit Crab
- Horseshoe Crab
- Humpback Whale
- Immortal Jellyfish
- Killer Whale
- King Crab
- Little Penguin
- Manta Ray
- Moray Eel
- Sand Tiger Shark
- Scorpion Fish
- Sea Dragon
- Sea Lion
- Sea Slug
- Sea Squirt
- Sea Turtle
- Sea Urchin
- Sixgill shark
- Skipjack Tuna
- Sleeper Shark
- Sperm Whale
- Spinner Shark
- Spiny Dogfish
- Tiger Shark
- Wandering Albatross
- Whale Shark
- Yellow-Eyed Penguin
- Yellowfin Tuna
- Zebra Shark
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.