Contributions to the Systematics of the Southern Fur Seals, with Particular Reference to the Juan Fernández and Guadalupe Species

  1. William Henry Burt
  1. Charles A. Repenning1,
  2. Richard S. Peterson2 and
  3. Carl L. Hubbs3

Published Online: 3 APR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR018p0001

Antarctic Pinnipedia

Antarctic Pinnipedia

How to Cite

Repenning, C. A., Peterson, R. S. and Hubbs, C. L. (1971) Contributions to the Systematics of the Southern Fur Seals, with Particular Reference to the Juan Fernández and Guadalupe Species, in Antarctic Pinnipedia (ed W. H. Burt), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR018p0001

Author Information

  1. 1

    U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California 94025

  2. 2

    University of California, Santa Cruz

  3. 3

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92037

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 APR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1971

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901183

Online ISBN: 9781118664773



  • Arctocephalus australis;
  • Arctocephalus forsteri and galapagoensis;
  • Arctocephalus gazella and philippii;
  • Arctocephalus pusillus and townsendi;
  • Arctocephalus tropicalis;
  • Guadalupe fur seals;
  • Southeastern fur seals


No morphological character other than the presence of abundant underfur seems to consistently distinguish the nominal otariid subfamilies Arctocephalinae (fur seals) and Otariinae (sea lions). This character may be a polyphyletic adaptation, and it is suggested that the subfamily distinction may be invalid and perhaps should be abandoned. Two genera of fur seals are retained as distinct: Callorhinus (monotypic), in the Arctic and the temperate North Pacific, and Arctocephalus (polytypic; including Arctophoca), chiefly in the far south, with one species in the Galapagos Islands, nearly on the equator, and another in the subtropical to temperate northeastern Pacific, where narrowly sympatric with Callorhinus. Except for underfur, some species of Arcfocephalus more closely resemble some genera of sea lions, especially in skull characters, than they do Callorhinus. Arctocephalus comprises, as here recognized, 8 extant species. We rely largely on features of skull and dentition for separation of these species. The fur seal of southeastern Australia and Tasmania (A. doriferus) is regarded as only sub specifically distinguishable from the South African species (A. pusillus). The population still living on the Islas Juan Fernandez, far off the Chilean mainland, though very similar to the Guadalupe fur seal (A. townsendi) of Mexican and southern Californian islands, is tentativelytreated, pending the study of larger series, as a distinct species (A. philippii).