They carry rocks and store food in the loose skin under their armpits - who needs carrier bags! The charismatic otter, a member of the weasel family, is found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Their teeth are strong enough to crunch open a clam shell or bite through a sea urchin's spines. The sea otter is a well-known marine mammal with a historical range along the west coast of North America. Yet, sea otters do possess the fine, dense fur coats characteristic of the Mustelidae. No sea otters, no kelp forests. This aquatic member of the weasel family is found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. But upon closer inspection, the almost comically adorable faces of a raft of playful sea otters pop up from behind cresting waves, their hind feet pointing toward the sky. Still, they remain classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “endangered.”. These include fully webbed hind feet; nostrils and ears … Their charming features are unparalleled, from their expressions to their use of tools. These adorable little guys have long, streamlined bodies that are just made for being in the water. Sea otters do not migrate far. Did you know sea otters have built in pouches of loose skin under their forearms to stash extra prey when diving? An otter is one of the few species that use tools. When the sea urchins’ populations are controlled by sea otters, vital kelp forests can flourish. Einige dieser Tiere haben harte Schalen, die sie vor Räubern zu schützen. Tune into our LIVE Sea Otter Cam for your daily dose of sea otter cuteness. The length of a sea otter is four feet in California whereas in north sea, the height is slightly more than this. 11. Sea Otter Facts & Information. Otters are the dogs of the water world, so it’s no small wonder that we humans have such affection for them. Like polar bears in the Arctic, sea otters are considered keystone species in their ecosystems, because they affect great influence on their environments. Sea otter is the heaviest and the second smallest aquatic member of weasel family. Therefore, sea otters are obsessive about keeping their fur clean, and groom themselves practically non-stop when they’re not eating or sleeping. One study saw a male sea otter hold a struggling female underwater until she died during intercourse and ten months later, the same otter was seen swimming, diving, and having sex with a different female carcass. Newborn sea otter pups are so buoyant they can’t immediately dive for food. The sea otter can live its entire life without leaving the water. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters resting together is called a raft. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. In their adult stages of life, Sea Otters will weigh from 7 to 31 pounds. Sea Otter fressen Fische und wirbellose Meerestiere wie Krabben, Seeigel, Seesterne und Abalone, sowie Tintenfisch und Tintenfische. Here are some surprising yet cute facts about them. 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!). 5. Warm air trapped in a sea otter’s fur keeps them warm in chilly waters.When otters dive, they seal their ears and nose.The word otter comes from Old English and Indo European root words that were also used to create the English word for water.Otters have the densest fur in the world. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is rare, completely marine otter. In California, the weight of a female is 45 lbs and of a male otter is 65 l… Furry, playful and very, very smart, otters are beloved for their adorable antics and sweet appearance. In environments where sea otter populations … The coolest of all otter facts is that they use tools to crack open the shells of crabs and clams. They need to keep their fur coat clean so it stays waterproof. They’re cute, they’re fuzzy, and easily photogenic! They have very thick fur – near about 250,000 to one million hair per square inch. Mishka is an asthmatic otter who uses an inhaler. Research has shown that sea otters are vital to the health of carbon-absorbing kelp forests. Otters do not have blubber, instead air is trapped within their fur to keep them warm. The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. And the only marine mammal to catch fish with its forepaws and not its mouth. National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. They gorge on more than 100 different prey species. A group of otters is called a romp. © 2021 World Wildlife Fund. Hunted nearly to extinction by the fur trade, sea otters are endangered and currently exist in only a portion of their historic range. If you come across a sea otter you think is sick, injured or abandoned, please give it space and call The Marine Mammal Center’s stranding hotline at (415) 289-7325. 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. They are native to the northern coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, from northern Japan to Baja, Mexico. 4. If a sea otter’s fur becomes dirty, it has trouble absorbing the air needed to keep it warm. White shark bites are now the leading cause of sea otter mortality in California. The sea otter is the only species of otter that spends almost its whole life at sea, even though it rarely travels further than 1km (0.6miles) from the coast. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter is capable of living exclusively in the ocean. Sea otter moms typically only give birth to 1 pup. 6. Sea otters don’t let death hold them back from going to pound town. Sea otters eat 25% of their body weight in food every day. Pups are born year round. They prey on sea urchins that feed on kelp. For instance, they plentifully eat sea urchins, which eat kelp in great abundance. View our inclusive approach to conservation. 4. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. North American Sea Otter is also more slender than other otter breeds. They are often mistaken for beavers though. The Russian Sea Otter is found off the eastern coast of Russia and several have been reported in Japan. Want to watch cute sea otters romp, wrestle and play every day of the year? Is there a pupping season? 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. Its hind feet are webbed and flat so they work more like flippers. To keep from drifting apart while they snooze, sea otters often sleep holding paws. They will hang on to a dead otter and continue to rape its corpse. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard h… Sea Otters have joined the ranks of ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses, and elephant seals, all animals that can contract influenza.According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, sea otters living in a remote area in Washington state were carriers of the H1N1 virus. 1. It is native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. iStock Once thought to be gone from the area completely, southern sea otters—known as California sea otters—have been making a … 2. That’s because, unlike its fellow marine mammals, it has no blubber to keep it warm. Most common prey for California sea otters are Rock and Dungeness crabs. It wedges a rock between its chest and the “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to open them up. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are an easily recognized and beloved marine mammal. 1. In appearance, sea otters are stouter and have larger rib cages, smaller tails and blunter muzzles than other species of otters. Learn 15 more facts about these fascinating mammals. Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal species. Oil spills, therefore, can affect sea otters perhaps more so than any other marine mammal; oil coating their fur can lead to death by hypothermia. Sea otters eat sea urchins & other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp. Lifespan: 10-15 years on average, but some have lived to be 20. As predators that are near the top of the food chain, otters are hugely important for keeping their environments balanced. Nope. Newborn sea otter pups are so buoyant they can’t immediately dive for food. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. Sea otter facts! 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: 10. Deepest dive recorded is 264 feet. From a distance, the line of black bobbing forms in the waters just off the coast of Alaska look like flotsam, or driftwood entangled in kelp. 8. National Geographic: North American River Otter 3. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. They live in offshore forests of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), and spend most of their active time foraging below the canopy. 2. 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. A raft is usually comprised of single-sex sea otters that can range from 10 to a hundred individuals. 7. Additional resources 1. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. 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. With populations once estimated at close to 300,000, sea otters were hunted extensively for their pelts. Its fur is the densest of any animal on Earth—an estimated 1 million hairs per square inch. They like to eat sea urchins, clams, mussels and crabs. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species. Sea otters inhabit temperate coastal waters with rocky or soft sediment ocean bottom. Unlike northern sea otters found in Alaska, southern sea otters here in California don’t eat fish. I’m dead serious. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. Sea otters spend approximately 9 to 12 hours foraging each day. 4. Sea otters are one of the only mammals that are been known to use tools to obtain and eat their prey. Sea otter fur is the densest of any mammal at about 1 million hairs per square inch (We have 100,000 hairs on our entire head). But it wasn’t until the introduction of large scale industrial hunting in the 18th and 19th centuries that the sea otter was seriously threatened. Under their arms, Sea otters have built in pockets. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. That’s because a male sea otter bites a female’s nose to hold onto her during mating. Washington, DC 20037. After hunting on the seafloor, sea otters return to the surface to eat. The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. Aber das ist kein Problem für den talentierten Seeotter, die Risse die Schalen öffnen , indem sie mit Steinen hämmern. The sea otter also hammers rocks against strongly gripping abalone shells to pry them off of rocks and feed on their tasty insides. Their forefeet are small and dexterous with retractile claws and the flipper-like hind feet are broad and webbed. Longest dive ever recorded was just under 8 minutes. It wedges a rock between its chest and the “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to open them up. Their rafts—usually comprised of a single sex—can range from as few as 10 individuals to as high as 1,000. This page contains sea otter facts and information, and is part of our Arctic Animals series. Sea Otter Facts: Habitat: Northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months. They use their sea whiskers to find small creatures to eat, and their paws to dig for clams. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris)! 6. Fun Facts for Kids. They hunt for food both in the water such as fish and then also land creatures including small reptiles. Weight of otter depends on their breed. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. The North American Sea Otter is a much larger breed compared to Asian counterpart species, who only grow to around 10 pounds. Sea Otters that are found in river settings tend to have slender, serpentine bodi… Sea otters have built in pouches of loose skin under their forearms to stash extra prey when diving. Look for sea otters on tour with WWF in Alaska. Threats to population recovery include white sharks, pathogens & parasites, food limitation, coastal pollutants and oil spills. Otters are adorable creatures that live both on land and in the water. Clever creatures, they'll use rocks to crack open the clams. The population eventually bottomed out at only 1,000 to 2,000 by the early 20th century. Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters … Sea otters are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae). Otters are some of the most adorable aquatic animals. They live mainly on land that is very close to bodies of water. 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. – Source 13. They can use a rock to dislodge mollusks and urchins from the rocks where they are attached. Gestation is 6 months (2 months delayed implantation + 4 months pregnancy). Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months. Average dive depth for California sea otters is about 20 feet. All rights reserved. Sea otters are equally active both night and day. Sea otter moms typically nurse and care for their pups for about 6 months before weaning them. World Wildlife Fund Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax ID number 52-1693387) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Sea otters use rocks to remove prey from their shells. FUN FACTS Longest recorded dive : 7 min. Gestation is 6 months (2 months … california sea otters divide themselves in diet guilds. On average, an adult male California sea otter consumes over 4,000 calories daily. Sea otters can spend their entire life in water. 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. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. 5. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. But the sea otter’s habitat is unique, as they only live in shallow coastal waters in the North Pacific ocean. 1250 24th Street, N.W. Large percentage of southern sea otter mortality is due to infectious diseases, many of which are known to have anthropogenic causes. Average dive duration for California sea otters is about 60 seconds. Males can weigh up to 70 lbs. 3. Sea otters eat many kinds of invertebrates, including sea urchins, abalone, clams, crabs, snails, sea stars, squid & octopuses. Sea otters are known to wrap their pups and themselves in kelp to keep from drifting out to sea. Have you ever seen an otter with a scarred or bloody nose? Sea otter moms typically nurse and care for their pups for about 6 months before weaning them. The facts from archaeological digs suggest that the dense fur of the sea otter has made it a target of hunters for thousands of years. Offshore forests of giant kelp ( Macrocystis pyrifera ), and is part of our Arctic animals series kelp! 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