+25 Animals of the Peruvian Coast - Names and Photos

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Coastal ecosystems are always home to an immense wealth of marine flora and fauna. In the case of the Peruvian coast, the Pacific Ocean allows the outcrop of all kinds of fish, reptiles, birds and marine mammals. In this region of the southern hemisphere we can find both native animals of Peru, as well as numerous species that migrate and arrive at its shores simply during mating and reproduction times. Other species do it to feed themselves or are simply visiting and continue their migration path towards less warm waters, such as dolphins and whales.

In this Green Ecologist article you will learn the main characteristics and most representative features of +25 animals from the Peruvian coast.

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

The impressive dimensions of the humpback whale or yubarta, make it one of the most striking marine mammals in the world. fauna of Peru. Its more than 12 meters in length, its 36,000 kilograms, its long pectoral fins, a heart the size of a car and its veins in which a human being could fit, make this majestic species one of the larger whales.

Approaching any of the beaches or cliffs of the Peruvian coast can ensure that we contemplate a humpback whale performing one of its incredible acrobatics. His numerous impulses to the surface to breathe and his subsequent fall back into the water are quite a spectacle.

Learn more about these living things in this other Green Ecologist post about Where whales live and what they eat.

South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)

Another of the sea mammals that stands out as most representative animal of Peru It is the South American sea lion. From the coasts bathed by the Atlantic in Uruguay and Argentina, passing through the coasts of the South Pacific of Chile until reaching the Peruvian coast, the south american sea lions they inhabit coastal ecosystems in large colonies of about 15 individuals.

Its most characteristic feature is the extensive layer of brown and reddish hairs that the males present around their necks, giving them the appearance of a lion. Males also differ from females of the same species in the weight they reach, being about 300 kilograms in males and almost half, about 140 kilograms, in females.

Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Between the most outstanding reptiles of the fauna of Peru we find, without a doubt, the leatherback turtle. It's about the larger turtle out of all the turtles that exist today, reaching a wingspan of two meters. Their diet is mainly based on jellyfish.

This surprising sea turtle is considered a gigantotherm species, that is, thanks to its voluminous size and being a cold-blooded animal, the relationship between its volume and body surface area is greater and, therefore, it is capable of maintaining a temperature constant body with greater ease.

Here you can learn more about the situation of this marine reptile: Is the leatherback turtle in danger of extinction?

Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)

Known worldwide as one of the most amazing flightless birds in the world, penguins are also part of the list of amazing animals of the peruvian coast.

Within the Spheniscidae family to which they belong, the humboldt penguins They inhabit the coasts that the Pacific Ocean bathes in Peru, receiving their name from the Humboldt Current or Peruvian current, which constitutes their exclusive area of distribution. For this reason, they are considered native animals of Peru.

Its small size, hydrodynamic fins and constitution allow the Humboldt penguin to satisfy its nutritional needs in the rich waters of the Peruvian upwelling ecosystem.


There is also a place on the extensive Peruvian coast for the bird with the largest wingspan. This great seabird is the albatross (Family Diomedeidae). There are several species of this family that we can find in the waters of the Pacific, off the Peruvian coast, among which the following stand out:

  • Traveling or wandering albatrossDiomedea exulans).
  • White-fronted AlbatrossThalassarche (cautious) salvini).
  • Smoked Albatross (Phoebetria fusca).

Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)

In the cliffs of the peruvian coast, the bird known as Inca tern, tendril or nun tern, finds its natural habitat, being one of the most representative animals of Peru.

This South American seabird flies over the waters of the sea off the coast of Peru in search of schools of fish to feed on. It is easy to recognize the individuals of the species, since their characteristic grayish plumage, their legs and beak of an intense red and the presence of yellow cheeks and a fine line of white feathers as a mustache are unmistakable.

More animals of the Peruvian coast

To learn more about the diverse fauna of PeruLet's put more examples of the marine mammals and birds that predominate on these Pacific coasts.

Sea mammals

  • Black killer whale or false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens).
  • Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata).
  • Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens).
  • Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).
  • Tropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata).
  • Melon-headed dolphinPeponocephala electra).
  • Pilot whale (Grampus griseus).
  • Pygmy sperm whaleKogia breviceps).
  • Black or spiny porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis).
  • Cuvier's calf (Ziphius cavirostris).

Birds of the Peruvian coast

  • Peruvian pelican (Pelecanus thagus).
  • Guanay cormorant (Leucocarbo bougainvillii).
  • Peruvian booby (Sula variegata).
  • Black oystercatcher (Haematopus ater).
  • Kelp gullLarus dominicanus).
  • Snowy EgretEgretta thula).
  • Pelagic frigate (Fregata minor).
  • Sea earwig (Fregata magnificens).

Now you can see a photo gallery of these animals in the same order as in these lists. Also, we show you more information in this other post about +60 animals of the coast and in the video that you will see at the end about peruvian coastal animals and from other areas.

If you want to read more articles similar to +25 animals from the Peruvian coast, we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category.

  • Salzwedel, H. & Landa, A. (1997) Resources and dynamics of the Peruvian upwelling ecosystem. Sea Institute of Peru.
  • Schulenberg, T. et, al. (2008). Birds of Peru. Princeton University Press.
  • Arias-Screiber, M. & Rivas, C. (1998) Distribution, size and structure of the populations of sea lions (Arctocephalus australis Y Otaria byronia) on the Peruvian coast. IMARPE digital repository, pp: 17-32.
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