Sea lions are entertaining animals that populate almost every beach in the Galapagos Islands.
They lie on the sand, the rocks, the grass, and even on tables and benches.
They are adorable and they capture the hearts of the locals and the tourists alike.
They are more like dogs in personality and behavior than any other animal.
These sea lions at Puerto Chino Beach on San Cristobal Island are actually a group of females and youngsters, along with one large male bull sea lion.
Sea lion colonies are much like harems, with one dominant male and several females.
He will chase away any mature males, especially if they are not submissive.
This territorial behavior is about protecting his breeding rights and has little or nothing to do with food availability.
This large bull sea lion waddled down a path from a high rocky perch where he had been sunning and overlooking his kingdom.
He took a little detour and went over to a female that was lazing in the shade with her baby.
Surprisingly, he pressed his lips against hers, as if kissing her like they were a pair of honeymooners.
She opened her mouth wide as if she was shocked or very pleased at this display of affection.
The bull gave the camera an embarrassed look and then began waddling right to the ocean.
This whole exchange resembled a sailor walking down the pier, and stopping to give his girlfriend a kiss before going on a long voyage.
He made his way awkwardly across the sand in that adorable waddle that sea lions use on land.
As this male reaches the water, his awkwardness will be replaced with a grace and sleekness as he propels his large body through the water with surprising speed.
Sea lions use their powerful flippers for propulsion in the water, as well as walking on them.
Sea lions are cute and lovable and they seem friendly enough that one might be tempted to go right up and try to pet or hug one, but they are quite definitely wild creatures and they do not enjoy humans getting close.
In fact, Galapagos Islands have strict rules about maintaining a 2m (6 foot) distance at all times.
Baby sea lions will often approach humans for food or affection, but touching one means certain death, as sea lion mothers will abandon their babies if they have a human scent on them.
Enjoying these playful and comical creatures from a safe distance is one of the most appealing parts of the Galapagos Islands.