Here are some interesting sea otter related facts for you. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of carnivorous mammals that includes skunks, weasels, wolverines and badgers. 6. This page contains sea otter facts and information, and is part of our Arctic Animals series. They are also preyed upon in the wild by sharks, bears, eagles and killer whales. Sea otter pups are born with a buoyant fur that does not allow them to sink. The fur is responsible for insulating them and keeping them warm because they do not have a layer of blubber to keep them warm and protect them from the outside environment. They are often mistaken for beavers though. Sea otters feast upon molluscs such as clams and mussels collected from dives to the sea floor. Description. They use the rock as a table against which they smash their shelled prey to g… Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. They live in offshore forests of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), and spend most of their active time foraging below the canopy. Their fur is the densest of any animal with about 100,000 hairs per square centimeter. Sea Otters. I’m dead serious. Sea otters use rocks to remove prey from their shells. 5. While the title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters are definitely in the running. Sea otters are the heaviest of the 13 otter species (giant otters are the longest). A “keystone species” is a species that is critical to how an ecosystem functions because it has large-scale effects on the communities in which it lives. Sea otter pup fur is known as a lanugo. Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. North American Sea Otter is also more slender than other otter breeds. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Hand-holding keeps the otters … Facts about Sea otters June 23, 2017 June 23, 2017 admintag Being on the shore or resting in the water, sea otters take care of their chic fur for a long time, comb and smooth it. Fewer sea urchins in turn help prevent kelp forests from being overgrazed. However, it is only once they were hunted nearly to extinction that we came to realize their value alive as a keystone species rather than a fur pelt. By Katie Critchfield on April 25 2017 in Environment. Sea otter, (Enhydra lutris), rare, completely marine otter of the northern Pacific, usually found in kelp beds. They hunt for food both in the water such as fish and then also land creatures including small reptiles. River otters, however, can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes. “Male sea otters typically grasp the female from behind and bite her face, and this rough behavior was associated with the deaths of about 11 percent of dead sea otters … A sea otter’s pelt is the thickest of any mammal. This ancient religion considered otters to be the dogs of the river or sea and had strict rules forbidding the killing of otters. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. Aug 29, 2019 - Explore Sammy Jo Reilly's board "Sea Otter Facts & Activities" on Pinterest. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is rare, completely marine otter. 10. These marine mammals have a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea. Southern sea otters range along the mainland coastline of California from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara County, and San Nicolas Island. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Even a baby sea otter can stay warm on the open ocean, but they do need some help from their mothers. The video below has some great shots of sea otters. Sea otters are social animals and raft together in groups of a few dozen to hundreds of animals. Its ears and nostrils are closed down in water. 2. Southern sea otters breed and pup year-round, while northern sea otter pups in Alaska are usually born in the spring. Most sea otters call Alaska home. In a kelp forest, sea urchins can graze on the kelp and eat their holdfasts, resulting in deforesting the … These aquatic members of the weasel family are often seen floating on their backs. 11. Sea Otters can live their entire lives at sea, though they are … Thirteen different species of otter exist all around the world. It has short tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws. The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. Forget everything you thought you knew about otter species. Peter Burka / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. These otters have since been the basis for the entire repopulation of the species. 2. If you do see a sea otter on shore, watch from a distance and avoid disturbing its rest. Look for rafting groups! 9. In their adult stages of life, Sea Otters will weigh from 7 to 31 pounds. In fact, by the 1920s, the sea otter was at the brink of extinction — it was even thought to be extinct for a time. Discover The World’s Freshwater Habitats, North American Animals List. Hunted to the edge of extinction by fur traders in the 18th and 19th centuries, the few remaining sea otters (about 2,000 scattered in remnant colonies throughout the North Pacific rim) were first protected by the International Fur Seal Treaty in 1911. And still these cute creatures take care of the fur coat, as if playing: they often somersault and turn in the water, then ducking under the algae, then remaining on the surface. The food sea otters eat can impact the entire ecosystem in which they live. On an adult animal, there are an estimated 650,000 hairs per square inch. Sea otters are a ‘keystone species’ within kelp forests, maintaining the balance in the food web between kelp and sea urchins, allowing the forests to thrive. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Other facts. Sea otters are inhabitants of the coastal zone of the Pacific Ocean in Canada, Japan, Russia, the USA, and are among the smallest marine mammals. The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. 12. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. The smallest marine mammal, sea otters can be as long as 4 feet (1.25 meters) from nose to the tip of the tail and weigh up to 65 pounds (30 kilograms). Sea otters don't just have the densest fur of all otters — they have the densest fur of all animals. The coat of the sea otter has ‘pockets’ under the front legs which are used to stash food during dives, much like the ‘pouches’ in the cheeks of hamsters during foraging. Today, the population stands at 100 – 150,000 animals, but the IUCN Red List still categorizes sea otters as endangered. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. Unlike most other marine mammals, otters lack a blubber layer. They like to eat sea … Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are marine mammals.They live along the Pacific coast of North America.Their historic range included shallow waters of the Bering Strait.It also included Kamchatka, and as far south as Japan.. Sea otters have about 26,000 to 165,000 hairs per square centimeters of skin. In California, the weight of a female is 45 lbs and of a male otte… In California, research has found that sea otters also enhance seagrass beds, and in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, sea otters’ expansion into the area marked a gradual return of a more diverse ecosystem and an exciting moment in colonization efforts. Sea otters eat 25% of their body weight in food every day. These include fully webbed hind feet; nostrils and ears that can close; and thick, water-repelling fur that keeps them dry and warm. Sea otters … In maintaining kelp forests, sea otters also help to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). At birth, the weight of a pup is 3 to 5 pounds. Sea otters have incredibly dense fur, with up to 150,000 hair follicles per square centimeter. A newborn pup needs constant attention and will stay with its mother for six months until it develops survival skills. Here are some surprising yet cute facts about them. Groups of adult males and females will occasionally cross paths throughout the year based on food availability and mating cycles. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. Their charming features are unparalleled, from their expressions to their use of tools. A sea otter’s tool of choice: typically a rock that can be used as a hammer or anvil to break open hard-shelled prey. They will use rocks to open food like clams, sea urchins and crabs. The U.S. is home to two species: the sea otter and the North American river otter. Click on the photo below to discover this week’s animal! In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. If you want to help sea otters, you can get in touch with charities such as Friends of the Sea Otter. Their fur is brown with shades of lighter tan and yellow on the heads of adults. Sea otters have a long tail accounting for nearly a third of their body length and four webbed, clawed feet, which they use to navigate land and catch, break, and eat their prey. For one of the smallest marine mammals on Earth (yet the largest member of the weasel family), the sea otter has racked up quite a few superlatives: 1. Sea otters can live up to 23 years in the wild. Facts about Sea Otter, Giant Otter, European Otter, African Otter and River Otter. The North American Sea Otter is a much larger breed compared to Asian counterpart species, who only grow to around 10 pounds. 3. Sea otters are born swimmers with long, sleek, streamlined bodies with webbed feet. North American Sea Otters are larger than Asian otters. Sea otters have no insulating fat, but trap air under their coasts as insulation. National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. This traps air and heat next to their skin. Sea otters are part of the weasel family. 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