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Slightly smaller than their Californian relatives, Galápagos sea lions range from 150 to 250 cm in length and weigh between 50 and 400 kg, with the males averaging larger than females. Adult males also tend to have a thicker, more robust neck, chest, and shoulders in comparison to their slender abdomen. Females are somewhat opposite males, with a longer, more slender neck and thick torso.
Galápagos sea lions can be found on each of the different islands of the Galápagos archipelago. They have also colonized just offshore the mainland Ecuador at Isla de la Plata, and can be spotted from the Ecuadorian coast north to Isla Gorgona in Colombia. Records have also been made of sightings on Isla del Coco which is about 500 km southwest of Costa Rica.