Among the most outstanding Peruvian sea animals we can mention the leatherback turtle, the Peruvian sea lion, the spiny porpoise or the immense blue whale. The location of the territory of Peru in the American continent has given it qualities to host a varied and native marine fauna.
The geographical and climatic combination of the Andes along with the coasts of the Pacific Ocean give Peru a biodiversity that other countries further south or closer to the Caribbean do not have.
A great richness in species has made it possible to influence aspects of Peruvian life such as gastronomy, for example, where fishing is one of the main productive activities, due to the diversity of fish, mollusks and crustaceans.
The Peruvian state has so far confirmed the existence of 736 species of fish (anchovy, sardine, hake, silverside, etc.), 870 species of mollusks (squid, octopus, snails, etc.) and 320 species of crustaceans (prawns, lobsters, crabs, etc.)
The marine fauna of Peru is also complemented by the existence of species whose commercial value is not so high, but they are essential for the natural marine cycle.
Among marine mammals, 38% of the species identified worldwide are found in Peruvian ecosystems . You may be interested in the 20 most outstanding native animals of Peru .
List of animal species of the Peruvian sea
1- Anchovy ( Engraulis ringens )
It is a fish that lives in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Peru. It is a species of great importance both for the Peruvian ecosystem , as well as for human consumption and commerce.
It serves as food for mammals and birds alike. The fishing of this species is mainly destined for the production of fishmeal and fish oils. It feeds on microscopic animals like plankton, and an adult specimen may not be longer than a pencil.
2- Peruvian booby ( Sula variegata )
Guanera bird that inhabits the coasts of Peru. It does not measure more than a meter in length. It is considered a sedentary bird, whose diet is based on hunting small fish such as anchovy.
They are grouped in groups of between 30 and 40 birds. They reproduce once a year, moving to areas of the Peruvian highlands.
3- Humboldt penguin ( Spheniscus humboldti )
Flightless species, considered in danger of extinction . It inhabits the coasts of the Pacific Ocean, specifically Foca Island, in Peru.
An adult specimen can measure up to 70 centimeters tall and weigh 4 kilograms. It feeds on small coastal fish such as anchovy and sardines.
If conditions are favorable, it can have up to two nests per year. The poaching of eggs and overfishing have been one of the main threats to this species.
4- Spiny porpoise ( Phocoena spinipinis )
Endemic cetacean of the South American coasts. There have been few sightings of this species, with most of the records with dead specimens.
It has been concluded that he has an evasive and discreet behavior, being little visible on the surface. They move in groups of between two and eight individuals. They eat anchovies, squid and shrimp.
5- Peruvian sea lion ( Arctophoca australis )
It is one of the two endemic species of sea lions that inhabit the Peruvian coasts.
It feeds mainly on shrimp, squid and small fish. It is hunted for its thin skin and also for the production of oil.
6- Leatherback turtle ( Dermochelys coriacea )
Considered the largest turtle, it inhabits the subtropical seas of Peru. It can weigh more than 600 kilograms and is capable of traveling thousands of kilometers without ever leaving the sea.
Despite having predatory abilities for the consumption of fish, urchins and squid, it mainly feeds on jellyfish.
The leatherback turtle has been preyed not only by man, for its shell and eggs, but also by land animals and birds when they are on land.
7- Blue shark ( Prionace glauca )
Present in a large part of the American continent, it is one of the most common shark species, making it one of the most extracted in fishing processes.
It can reach almost four meters in length. Due to its presence and constant fishing, it is officially in the Near Threatened category, although there are countries that are already seeking and implementing conservation measures.
8- Sea snake ( Hydrophis platurus )
A small but poisonous snake that inhabits the Neotropical seas. It can be up to a meter long.
Its poison, toxic to man, is functional for the creation of other components and antidotes. It serves as food and balance for other species of the same ecosystem.
They move mostly through water due to the characteristics of their body. In some regions it is considered a slightly threatened species, although others categorize it as a minor concern.
9- Magnificent frigate ( Fregata magnificens )
Seabird present in most of the Pacific coast. It is a dark bird that can be up to a meter long.
It has a more violent and territorial character than other birds, such as the booby, as it attacks them to snatch their food.
It feeds on fish and other small marine animals, although it is not capable of diving great depths to catch them.
10- Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus )
Known as the largest animal on the planet, the blue whale can occur throughout the year off the coast of Peru, but especially during the summer.
It reproduces in winter, in tropical or subtropical waters, and its main food consists of crustaceans.
Studies affirm that there are two subspecies that inhabit the Peruvian coasts. It has been protected by the Peruvian State since 1966 because it is in danger of extinction.
11- Peruvian pelican ( Pelecanus thagus )
The Peruvian pelican is found near the coasts of Peru and Chile. More specifically, it can be located in the Piura area. Large in size, it can exceed 225 cm with open wings. Their diet is mainly based on coastal fish.
12- Needle Stripe ( Bathyraja needle )
It is located mainly in the fishing area of Piura, southeastern part of Peru. It belongs to the order of the Rajiformes and is a very little studied species.
13- Galapagos Albatross ( Phoebastria irrorata )
Species that flies over the seas of Peru and that breeds only on the island of Hispaniola in the Galapagos. It is a large species that can reach top speeds of 90 km / h.
14- Swordfish ( Xiphias gladius )
Swordfish is an important part of Peruvian cuisine, due in large part to the colonies that are formed in its seas. The most characteristic of this large fish is its sword-shaped beak, which makes it a fearsome predator.
15- Cheetah ( Anisotremus scapularis )
Case similar to swordfish. Its characteristic flavor makes this fish of great gastronomic interest distributed throughout the seas of Peru, including the Galapagos. It inhabits reefs and feeds on invertebrates .
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