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FOR THE FIRST TIME, GALÁPAGOS SEA LIONS HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED ROUNDING UP SCHOOLS OF FISH AND DRIVING THEM ASHORE.

New research published in June 2021 describes a group of Galápagos sea lions off the coast of Santiago Island that work together to round up fish and steer them through open water towards a cove where, in successful hunts, the prey is driven ashore.
The behaviour was first seen by photographer Tui De Roy, and is documented in our new photo story, Brain Waves. De Roy’s images drew the attention of the BBC, who filmed the behaviour for their new series Eden: Untamed Planet.

Dive into our full story PDF, complete with text, to learn all about this newly discovered behaviour, what makes Galápagos sea lions so inventive, and why they are facing a giant evolutionary test.

Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) body surfing through breaking wave, Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) body surfing through breaking wave, Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion group (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting shoal of fish with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) Bainbrdige Crater, near Santiago Island, Galapagos,  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion group (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting shoal of fish with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) Bainbrdige Crater, near Santiago Island, Galapagos,
Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) opportunistically feeding, after Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) drove Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) opportunistically feeding, after Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) drove Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding. after hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Gal...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding. after hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Gal...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) opportunisti...  -  Tui De Roy
01672125
Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) opportunisti...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Gal...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Gal...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) and sharks o...  -  Tui De Roy
01672113
Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) and sharks o...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) and sharks o...  -  Tui De Roy
01672117
Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) and sharks o...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Gal...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Gal...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup chasing anchovy shcool, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup chasing anchovy shcool, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) sub adult males playing with starfish, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) sub adult males playing with starfish, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos.
Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) swallowing Blue-barred Parrotfish (Scarus ghobban) prey, Tagus Cove, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) swallowing Blue-barred Parrotfish (Scarus ghobban) prey, Tagus Cove, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) bull feeding on Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) prey, which it has herded into shallow water, Punta Albemarle, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) bull feeding on Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) prey, which it has herded into shallow water, Punta Albemarle, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pup playing with own flipper, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pup playing with own flipper, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playing with stick, Santa Fe Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playing with stick, Santa Fe Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) playing with pufferfish, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) playing with pufferfish, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos.
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) inquisitive pup playing with Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus). Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) inquisitive pup playing with Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus). Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) body surfing through breaking wave, Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) body surfing through breaking wave, Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pups playing on beach, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pups playing on beach, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting, Champion Islet, Floreana Island, Galapagos.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting, Champion Islet, Floreana Island, Galapagos.
Juvenile Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting Black-striped Salemas (Xenocys jessiae). Rabida Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Juvenile Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting Black-striped Salemas (Xenocys jessiae). Rabida Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinu...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinu...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting tuna. A group of the sea lion bulls have learnt to herd Pelagic yellowfin tuna into a small cove, trapping them. The fish often leap ashore in an effor...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting tuna. A group of the sea lion bulls have learnt to herd Pelagic yellowfin tuna into a small cove, trapping them. The fish often leap ashore in an effor...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pup with mother, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pup with mother, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) youg pup, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) youg pup, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pup suckling, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pup suckling, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pups playing, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) newborn pups playing, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) pup playfully clambering on mother's back, Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) pup playfully clambering on mother's back, Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playfully clambering on mother's back, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playfully clambering on mother's back, Mosquera Islet, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playing withg own air bubbles in shallows, Gardner Islet, Espanola Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playing withg own air bubbles in shallows, Gardner Islet, Espanola Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playing with seaweed, Garnder Islet, Espanola Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) yearling pup playing with seaweed, Garnder Islet, Espanola Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) female and pup, Gardner Bay, Espanola Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) female and pup, Gardner Bay, Espanola Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) pups playing at sunrise, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) pups playing at sunrise, Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) opportunisti...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) opportunisti...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) and Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) hunting. Bainbridge Crater, near Santiago Island, Galapagos.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) and Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) hunting. Bainbridge Crater, near Santiago Island, Galapagos.
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) and Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) hunting. Bainbridge Crater, near Santiago Island, Galapagos.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) and Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) hunting. Bainbridge Crater, near Santiago Island, Galapagos.
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) and sharks o...  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinator) and sharks o...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...  -  Tui De Roy
01672133
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...  -  Tui De Roy
01672134
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...  -  Tui De Roy
01672135
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...  -  Tui De Roy
01672136
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...  -  Tui De Roy
01672137
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding on Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) that they hunted cooperatively by driving from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelican...  -  Tui De Roy
01672138
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding on Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) that they hunted cooperatively by driving from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelican...
Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...  -  Tui De Roy
01672127
Tui De Roy / Aerial view of Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting cooperatively by driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pelecanus urinato...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding on Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) that the sealions hunted cooperatively by driving from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pele...  -  Tui De Roy
01672129
Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding on Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) that the sealions hunted cooperatively by driving from open sea to small cove, with Brown pelicans (Pele...
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding, after cooperatively driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Galapagos.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) feeding, after cooperatively driving Amberstripe scad fish (Decapterus moruadsi) from open sea to small cove. Bainbridge Rocks, Santiago Island, Galapagos.
Juvenile Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting Black-striped Salemas (Xenocys jessiae). Rabida Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Juvenile Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) hunting Black-striped Salemas (Xenocys jessiae). Rabida Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) inquisitive pup playing with Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus). Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador  -  Tui De Roy
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Tui De Roy / Galapagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) inquisitive pup playing with Sally Lightfoot Crab (Grapsus grapsus). Plazas Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
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