The sea otter has long whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing water. Northern sea otters are larger, up to 70 pounds (32 kg) for females and 100 pounds (45 kg) for males. Sea otters can have a pup any time of the year. 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 have several adaptations that allow them to live in a marine environment. In maintaining kelp forests, sea otters also help to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). 2. It is made up of a waterproof top layer and a short underlayer, which can contain as many as one million hairs per square inch. Get ready for some awesome otter facts and photos. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is rare, completely marine otter. These otters have since been the basis for the entire repopulation of the species. Additional resources 1. 12. A sea otter’s pelt is the thickest of any mammal. 3. A sea otter relies on its fur to keep warm because it doesn't have an insulating layer of blubber as other marine mammals do. 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. An otter is one of the few species that use tools. Description. Sea Otters that are found in river settings tend to have slender, serpentine bodi… Most sea otters call Alaska home. Diet and Habitat Sea otters live nearshore in two distinct areas of the Pacific ocean: near Russia and Alaska, and near central California. They have a loose patch of skin under their armpit to store both the food they’ve foraged and their rock to crack it open. A sea otter relies on its fur to keep warm because it doesn't have an insulating layer of blubber as other marine mammals do. 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. These include fully webbed hind feet; nostrils and ears that can close; and thick, water-repelling fur that keeps them dry and warm. It is 40–65 inches (100–160 cm) long and weighs Fun Facts about Sea Otter! Most sea otters measure less than 50 inches. Weight of otter depends on their breed. It is native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Approximately 90 percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. They usually weigh between 7 to 31 pounds (3 – 14 kg). Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. News and facts about animals, natural history and science. It’s also home to the largest concentration of southern sea otters along the California coast. Floating Behavior Sea otters often float at the water's surface, lying on their backs in a posture of serene repose. Lifespan: 10-15 years on average, but some have lived to be 20. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. Baby otters, called pups or kittens, stay with their mothers until they’re up to a year old, or until she has another litter. Researchers have seen concentrations of over 1,000 otters floating together. Sea otters are the exception, giving birth in the water. We promise that you’ll be otterly entertained! 4. U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. feedback@ios.doi.gov, Stewarding Conservation and Powering Our Future, about 10 Public Lands with Powerful Native American Connections, about Enjoy Your Next E-bike Trip on Public Lands, Toggle Dyslexia-friendly black-on-creme color scheme, Secretarial Schedules (July 2018-July 2019), Approximately 90 percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska, 600,000 to 1,000,000 hair follicles per square inch, Sea otters have been known to stay submerged for more than 5 minutes at a time, sea otters help control the sea urchin population, Ever wonder where otters actually store these tools for safe keeping, Learn more about staying safe around sea otters, 10 Public Lands with Powerful Native American Connections, Enjoy Your Next E-bike Trip on Public Lands, ICYMI: President Trump signs Omnibus Spending and COVID Relief Bill, Uplifting American Families, Investing in American Infrastructure and Enhancing American Conservation, Integrity of Scientific & Scholarly Activities, Policy Library: Departmental Manual, HR, Secretary's Orders, Wildland Fire Management. Diet analysis suggests that butter clams are their preferred prey in Southeast Alaska (La Roche 2020). An otter’s lung capacity is 2.5 times greater than that of similar-sized land mammals. Today, the population stands at 100 – 150,000 animals, but the IUCN Red List still categorizes sea otters as endangered. Otters are expert hunters. Sea Otter Facts. A lanugo is a very soft, downy hair that develops in humans as well as animals. The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. A newborn pup needs constant attention and will stay with its mother for six months until it develops survival skills. Copyright © 2021 ActiveWild.com. Sea otters were hunted almost to extinction for their fur and only 1 – 2,000 animals remained in the early 20th century. Sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopus and fish also make tasty meals for a sea otter. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. Otters can be found in unpolluted waters all over the world in marshland, freshwater rivers, lakes, oceans and coastlines. They are often mistaken for beavers though. 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. See more ideas about sea otter, otters, otter love. Thirteen different species exist around the globe. Miraculously, in 1938 some 50 sea otters were found off the coast of Big Sur in California — they had managed to survive the extermination. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. The length of a sea otter is four feet in California whereas in north sea, the height is slightly more than this. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters in nearshore ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. 1. Check out this otter-worldly info. 7. All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. 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. North American Sea Otter is also more slender than other otter breeds. They are also preyed upon in the wild by sharks, bears, eagles and killer whales. Sea otters eat up to 30% of their body weight in food per day to support their high metabolic rate. A raft is usually comprised of single-sex sea otters that can range from 10 to a hundred individuals. Fun Facts The sea otter's dark brown fur is the finest and densest of any animal fur. 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. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. Fewer sea urchins in turn help prevent kelp forests from being overgrazed. Their teeth are strong enough to crunch open a clam shell or bite through a sea urchin's spines. If you want to help sea otters, you can get in touch with charities such as Friends of the Sea Otter. All Rights Reserved. Otters eat 15-20 percent of their bodyweight daily. It is native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Many live in the waters surrounding public lands including Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, Kenai Fjords National Park and Glacier Bay National Park. High quality Sea Otter gifts and merchandise. There are 13 known species of otters, which range in size from 2.9 feet (90 cm) all the way to 5.9 feet (1.8 m) long! Sea otters are also found along the coastlines of eastern Asia and Russia. 5. 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 otters are part of the weasel family. Sea otters wrap themselves in kelp or hold hands when sleeping to prevent drifting. These aquatic members of the weasel family are often seen floating on their backs. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris)! Rafts tend to consist of females and pups together, and separate groups of males. Sea otters often float at the water's surface in forests of kelp, or giant seaweed, and entangle themselves to keep from moving in the rolling sea. Sea otters are part of the weasel family. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters in nearshore ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. Sea otters are the heaviest of the 13 otter species (giant otters are the longest). The southern sea otter measures up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in length; females weigh up to 50 pounds (23 kg) and males up to 70 pounds (32 kg). National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. While the title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters are definitely in the running. Physical Description. Calans belong to the family Cunyi. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Mountain Gorilla Facts, Pictures & Information, Jurassic Dinosaurs List: Discover The Dinosaurs That Lived In The Jurassic Period, Animals That Start With X: List With Pictures & Facts, Wild Dog Species List: All Types Of Wild Dogs, With Pictures & Information, Porcupine Facts: Species, Where Found, Diet, Predators, Lifestyle & More…, Freshwater Biome Facts. North American Sea Otters are larger than Asian otters. In a kelp forest, sea urchins can graze on the kelp and eat their holdfasts, resulting in deforesting the … 2. They use the rock as a table against which they smash their shelled prey to g… 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. U.S. and international law protects threatened sea otters. 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