They prey on sea urchins that feed on kelp. The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are an easily recognized and beloved marine mammal. And the only marine mammal to catch fish with its forepaws and not its mouth. Sea Otter Facts: Habitat: Northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Lifespan: 10-15 years on average, but some have lived to be 20. Threats to population recovery include white sharks, pathogens & parasites, food limitation, coastal pollutants and oil spills. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. Floating on its back and using its chest as a table, a sea otter often uses a rock to crack open its prey — especially if dinner is a crab, clam or mussel. They gorge on more than 100 different prey species. Sea otters are the heaviest of the 13 otter species (giant otters are the longest). Mishka is an asthmatic otter who uses an inhaler. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters … The charismatic otter, a member of the weasel family, is found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. The sea otter is a well-known marine mammal with a historical range along the west coast of North America. Longest dive ever recorded was just under 8 minutes. Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months. Clever creatures, they'll use rocks to crack open the clams. Learn 15 more facts about these fascinating mammals. 1. They have furry bodies, whiskered faces, and a propensity to lay on their backs and float on the water, a behavior that humans perceive as evidence of fun-loving. Their rafts—usually comprised of a single sex—can range from as few as 10 individuals to as high as 1,000. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. Washington, DC 20037. Still, they remain classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “endangered.”. 5. Sea otter moms typically only give birth to 1 pup. Here are some surprising yet cute facts about them. They use their sea whiskers to find small creatures to eat, and their paws to dig for clams. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. This aquatic member of the weasel family is found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. They hunt for food both in the water such as fish and then also land creatures including small reptiles. That’s because a male sea otter bites a female’s nose to hold onto her during mating. Einige dieser Tiere haben harte Schalen, die sie vor Räubern zu schützen. Sea otters don’t let death hold them back from going to pound town. Most common prey for California sea otters are Rock and Dungeness crabs. Sea otters eat sea urchins & other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp. 3. An otter must consume 25% of its bodyweight in prey each day just to stay alive (for a 75 lb kid, that’s 75 1/4 lb burgers!). Learn more about these cute and charismatic critters. Sea otters do not migrate far. Another underwater superlative: The sea otter is the only marine mammal capable of flipping over boulders on the sea floor—in this case to search out food. For instance, they plentifully eat sea urchins, which eat kelp in great abundance. 2. iStock Once thought to be gone from the area completely, southern sea otters—known as California sea otters—have been making a … They will hang on to a dead otter and continue to rape its corpse. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. Otters are adorable creatures that live both on land and in the water. They carry rocks and store food in the loose skin under their armpits - who needs carrier bags! Following an international ban on hunting, their numbers rebounded significantly in the 20th century, particularly in Bering Sea and Alaskan waters, their main stomping ground. 4. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters resting together is called a raft. They can use a rock to dislodge mollusks and urchins from the rocks where they are attached. The sea otter also hammers rocks against strongly gripping abalone shells to pry them off of rocks and feed on their tasty insides. 11. Yet, sea otters do possess the fine, dense fur coats characteristic of the Mustelidae. Sea otter moms typically nurse and care for their pups for about 6 months before weaning them. Sea otters eat 25% of their body weight in food every day. Like polar bears in the Arctic, sea otters are considered keystone species in their ecosystems, because they affect great influence on their environments. Sea Otters that are found in river settings tend to have slender, serpentine bodi… Want to watch cute sea otters romp, wrestle and play every day of the year? Sea otters have several adaptations that allow them to live in a marine environment. After hunting on the seafloor, sea otters return to the surface to eat. The semi-aquatic creatures known as Sea otters may grow to between 34 and 60 inches in length, though it is very rare to find a Sea Otter surpassing 50 inches. Sea otters are known to wrap their pups and themselves in kelp to keep from drifting out to sea. Otters are some of the most adorable aquatic animals. Pups are born year round. Sea otters have no blubber so they constantly groom themselves to maintain the insulating & water repellant properties of their fur. Introduction to Otters. 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