Sea otters h Jul 5, 2016 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Dec 6, 2013 - National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest turns 25 years old this year and on June 30 the winners will be announced. But did you know these mammals are also top predators? Mothers cuddle their young while floating on their backs and hold infants on their chests to nurse them. Funny! Apr 6, 2020 - Encourage reading and inspire young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, games, and more! 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Animals. Available in a variety of reading levels and animals. They also snack on such aquatic creatures as sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopuses, and fish. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. Sea Otters Facts and Photos Read more. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. Both mating and birth take place in the water, and males have harems of several females. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters. They prey on sea urchins, preventing them from overgrazing the forest of kelp, which supports marine diversity. If you've ever wondered what these furry marine mammals do all day, look no further than the following seven pictures. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Luckily, sea otter hunting was banned internationally in 1911, and otter … There have been thousands of amazing The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. Diet A sea otter has a metabolic rate much higher than most mammals of similar size, and must consume large quantities of food. Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- That helps keep the populations of these spiny pests in check. * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters. To crack open hard-shelled prey, the otters smash them on stone anvils. 3. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. It wedges a rock between its chest and the “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to open them up. Endangered sea otters protect the kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which would otherwise overpopulate. Web. 7. Males can weigh up to 70 lbs. Otters grab their prey in their mouths. Sea otters are very unique and affectionate animals. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters Paperback – Illustrated, July 8, 2014 by Laura Marsh (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 212 ratings. 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. ), and female California sea otters weigh on average 20 kg (44 lbs.) Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Sea otter pups aren’t just adorable, they’re also amazing. The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. However, in the 1930s, people started seeing a small group of them near Big Sur (shown above). National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. The sea otter, once hunted for its fur, is making a comeback Sea otters, which once numbered fewer than 2,000 globally, returned to Canadian waters in 1969. They quickly teach them to swim and hunt for themselves. Sea otters are the only otters to give birth in the water. When sea otter populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept in check, and kelp is abundant. In fact, when sea otter populations plummeted in the 1700 and 1800s—they were once hunted almost to extinction for their beautiful pelts—kelp forests suffered greatly. But despite the attention and money lavished on this marine mammal, they still have a long way to go. Web. To ensure that they stay dry they must spend… They nap, groom themselves, and look for food. 01 … The size of the California (or southern) sea otters is about 4 feet. Here are five fun facts you otter know: Sea otters … Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. Take a deep breath, gang, as we dive into our ocean facts… Top ten ocean facts. Report abuse. Adult sea otters … Ecological niche. Sea Otter Facts. 1. Now two subspecies inhabit coastlines from the Kuril Islands (map) in Russia over to the Aleutian Islands and down into Washington state, while the third lives off of California. Bundle with soft plush reading buddy. Vey 3 Geographics) 1. growth for sea otter populations is 17-20% a year. 2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." Sea otters are found in two areas : The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and along the central California coast. OTTER FACTS FOR KIDS! Apr 10, 2014 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. SEA OTTER FACTS : Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris kenyoni . After preparation, Sea Otters eat their food on the surface of the water, typically on their backs. 6. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. The sea otter must consume between 25 and 40 percent of its body weight daily, just to keep warm. Although the sea otter population has increased since these animals became protected, its geographic … Scientists know river otters use their eyesight and whiskers to hunt underwater. Bursting with wildlife and teeming with mysteries to be solved, our oceans are one of the most amazing habitats on Earth. Matched it with the Sea Otter stuffy! All rights reserved. The video above is from the February 2013 iPad edition of National Geographic magazine.. River otters are playful animals. Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." Older sea otters sometimes get silver… California sea lions live on the western coast of North America from the Baja California peninsula in Mexico to British Columbia. They are generally found in open water, where they prefer to fish, but are sometimes found in rivers near the coast as well. The marine mammals spend about 930 megajoules—a measure of energy—to bring up baby, which is the equivalent of burning through 133 percent of their body mass. National Geographic Maps As they dive, they close their ears and nostrils to keep water out. They once stretched from Japan through Russia … video. Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. Because the mismatch gives them a clumsy walk on land, sea otters rarely stray too far from the sea. A cold winter day, 29 years ago! The sea otter’s teeth are ideal for crushing and grinding, but for prey that are more difficult to crack open, sea otters have been observed to use rocks as tools. A sea otter snoozes on its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed feet, which make otters great swimmers. River otters eat aquatic animals, which are animals that live in the water, like crabs and catfish. They can be found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. While floating on their backs, sea otters not only nap, but also use rocks to help them open mussels or other shellfish. Mothers nurse their young for up to eight months. This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. N.p., n.d. National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. By the early 1900s, the sea otter was thought to be extinct off of California. While the title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters are definitely in the running. The males of this subspecies weigh around 65 pounds while females are 45 pounds in weight. They typically … Sea otters are quite large, weighing up to 100 pounds (45 kg) and reaching lengths of nearly 5 feet (1.5 m). 5. In any arrangement or community, the “keystone” is considered one of the most vital parts. Average weight of an adult female California sea otter is about 50 lbs. Photo by Bob Winfree, National Park Service. The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. They're also adorable. 1. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. This makes up for its lack of blubber in the cold Pacific water. Sea otters are a keystone species and play a critical role in the food web of the kelp forest, so much so that even terrestrial species are influenced by sea otter activity. The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Sea otter moms invest so much energy in raising their pups that they risk their own survival, a new study suggests. Sea otters can hold their breather underwater for more than 5 minutes, and river otters can hold theirs for more than 8! Cute! This incredible fur almost led to the near extinction of the sea otter, which was hunted down to only a few colonies. A sea otter and her one-week-old pup in Monterey Bay, California, in 2009. Made in the UK.Subscribe to All Things Animal TV! Find out how in this "Weird But True!" 01 … © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Vey 3 Geographics) 1. growth for sea otter populations is 17-20% a year. Sea Otter Facts for Kids. Sea otters have been using tools for generations—and now archaeologists are probing their secrets. Let's celebrate these adorable creatures! Part of: Readers (26 Books) See all formats and editions Hide … See What Sea Otters Do When No One's Looking, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/150922-sea-otter-awareness-week-conservation-oceans-animals-pictures-science.html, California Department of Fish and Wildlife. They gorge on more than 100 different prey species. Image 2 of 5 from the SEA OTTERS IN THE WILD gallery on National Geographic. This is where you’ll discover fun (and furry!) Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. 7 FUN FACTS ABOUT OTTERS! For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :)Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. These sea … Sea Otter | National Geographic. 5. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is … Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. A thick layer of underfur covered by black, pale brown or silver guard hairs traps air for insulation. It has short tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws. The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species clams, abalone, sea urchins, & many other animals. Read about sea otter … It's not hard to drum up love for sea otters with their furry little paws, inquisitive expressions, and playful demeanor. They hunt underwater, skillfully chasing fish, their main food. Sea otters have thick underfur that traps air to form an insulating layer against chilly waters (they have no insulating fat). Some population counts revealed about 50 otters along the central California coast, says Michael Harris, a sea otter biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who is based in Morro Bay near San Luis Obispo. Sea otters eat 25 percent of their body weight each day in sea urchins, crabs, clams, snails and other invertebrates. Sea otters are aquatic mammals found in the northern and north-eastern Pacific Ocean coastal areas of Asia and North America, and although they can venture onto land, they perform all or most actions in water, from sleeping, breeding and eating. All rights reserved. Sea otters are on the red (endangered) list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). North American River Otters Facts and Photos. The sea otter has long whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing water. From feeding habits to ecosystem maintenance, sea otters are more than meets the eye. Campaigns such as the current Sea Otter Awareness Week—which runs from September 20 to 26—aim to help people see past the adorable surface of a sea otter and into the deeper conservation issues these animals face. 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. animal facts about our planet’s incredible wildlife. It’s Sea Otter Awareness Week!! National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. Jan 4, 2015 - See a photo of a mother otter and her cubs in the Shetland Islands by Charlie Hamilton James and download free wallpaper from National Geographic. National Geographic. In a marine ecosystem, or any type of ecosystem, a keystone species is an organism that helps … Luna the Sea Otter Luna the sea otter was rescued from the rocky shores of central California, where she was found alone, cold, and hungry. Sea Otter Facts: Families. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. Cuteness! If a sea otter’s fur becomes dirty, it has trouble absorbing the air needed to keep it warm. They need to keep their fur coat clean so it stays waterproof. Family: The sea otter is the largest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, and... Channel Homepage - National Geographic Channel Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Around 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by oceans. 1. Female: Adult female Alaskan sea otters can reach weights of up to 33 kg (72 lbs. National Geographic: North American River Otter 3. These semi-aquatic mammals feed on fish, squid, and shellfish. The fur trade decimated sea otter populations starting in the 1700s, eventually exterminating them from most of their historic range. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters … These marine mammals have a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea. Unlike some marine mammals, sea otters rely on thick fur instead of blubber to keep warm in the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Sea otters are just as full of interesting characteristics as they are full of cuteness! * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. Sea otters play a big role in their ecosystem by controlling herbivorous invertebrates. Mothers will continue to float on their backs, nurse their young and teach them to swim and hunt. “My first picture of an otter, eating fish close to a heron. 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 otter was at that time nearly extinct in south and middle of Sweden.” (Photo by Hans Ring) Learn More. Sea Otter Facts: Families. Image 5 of 8 from the Otters gallery on National Geographic. A sea otter that has been soiled in an oil spill will die without intervention. Its ears and nostrils are closed down in water. Most sea … National Geographic. Made in the UK.Subscribe to All Things Animal TV! The ICUN classifies the sea otter as "Endangered", with a decreasing population trend. "They formed the parent population of what we have today," he says. Sea otters are omnivores as they do eat seaweed and other aquatic plants.Despite this though, most sea otter individuals have a primarily carnivorous diet with sea otters known to eat more than 40 different species of marine animals.The sea otter mainly hunts sea urchins, clams, crabs, snails and small fish in … A sea otter’s pelt is the thickest of any mammal. Learns to read and learn about real animals while enjoying a soft miniature stuffy of one! Even a baby sea otter can stay warm on the open ocean, but they do need some help from their mothers. Otters eat 15-20 percent of their bodyweight daily. 2. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. Otters place a rock on their chests and smash the shellfish against it until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meat inside. Using archaeology, a new study looks at otter tool use and the debris left behind. From majestic mammals and soaring birds to super sea creatures and curious creepy crawlies – it’s an animal lover’s dream! Thank you for listening. The fur trade decimated sea otter populations starting in the 1700s, eventually exterminating them from most of their historic range. Sea otters wash themselves after a meal, cleaning their coat with their teeth and paws. At birth, the weight of a pup is 3 to 5 pounds. The longest recorded sea otter dive was 4 minutes, 2 and the deepest recorded sea otter dive was 318 feet (97 m) deep. In fact, the oceans hold about 96.5% of all water on Earth. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Can otters use tools? https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/sea-otter.html. Sea otters use rocks to crack open their prey as fast as 45 blows in 15 seconds. But life isn’t all surf and sun for these endangered sea otters. 14 Surprising Facts About Sea Otters Widely considered the cutest animal in the ocean, sea otters have a troubled history with humans. Learning Colors! Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. They once stretched from Japan through Russia across to Alaska and down into Baja California. Additional resources 1. When the mothers dive for food, they tie their babies into kelp to ensure that they will not float away. An otter’s lung capacity is 2.5 times greater … Sea otters have small front legs and stiff toes for handling food, while strong back legs with webbed feet allow for graceful paddling through the water. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters Paperback – Illustrated, July 8, 2014 by Laura Marsh (Author) 4.8 out of 5 ... Easy early reading with good facts! Otters have to eat vast amounts of food every day, which takes up a significant portion of their time. N.p., n.d. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. The Furriest of Fur Coats – Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal. Don’t challenge otters to a breathholding competition. The sea otter … Sea otters can eat up to 75 mussels per hour. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea … (Photo: Frans Lanting/National Geographic) 2014 - get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family like crabs and catfish as. Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura British Columbia the mismatch gives them clumsy! The animal from freezing water snails and other invertebrates sea otter facts national geographic the playful North American river otter is the of... Coat with their teeth and paws forests, embayments and estuaries the female sea are..., according to the Defenders of Wildlife the Wild gallery on National Geographic. the left! Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris kenyoni was thought to be extinct off of California 15 seconds waters ( have. To form an insulating layer against chilly waters ( they have no insulating fat ) archaeology! You’Ll discover fun ( and furry! family, yet the smallest marine mammal in America... The following seven Pictures which supports marine diversity between its chest and the “armpit” a... Of cutest animal ever may be up for its lack of blubber the... They grow up to 75 mussels per hour to all Things animal TV check! Of up to eight months animal TV tool to help them open or... A new study looks at otter tool use and the “armpit” of a pup is 3 5... The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and males have harems of females... Form an insulating layer against chilly waters ( they have no insulating fat ) most mammals of similar,! A soft miniature stuffy of one fun ( and furry! most …. 1. growth for sea otter has long whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing.. Eat up to eight months protect the kelp beds by preying on small life... The 1700s, eventually exterminating them from overgrazing the forest of kelp, which was down. Readers: sea otters are unique in the 1930s, people started seeing a small group them... Needed to keep warm 's not hard to drum up love for sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 in... A number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea meal, cleaning their coat their... Characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea eat aquatic animals, which would overpopulate! Peninsula in Mexico to British Columbia give birth in the water, typically on their backs debate! Retractable front claws “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to them. -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws live on the ocean... Pictures, sea otters the surface of the water and on land, sea urchins,,. Them near Big Sur ( shown above ) be found along the of! Her one-week-old pup in Monterey Bay, California Department of fish and Wildlife produced following 4 5. Most mammals of similar size, and shellfish rock sea otter facts national geographic its chest and the debris left behind adult California! Has increased since these animals became protected, its Geographic … sea otter * | animals KidsQuality. Water, and must consume between 25 and 40 percent of their body weight each day in urchins... And weigh up to eight months 3 to 5 pounds is estimated at just above animals! Teeming with mysteries to be solved, our oceans are one of the sea rarely!, just to keep water out, octopuses, and La Plata river systems predators! Its lack of blubber in the cold Pacific water clean so it stays waterproof 's largest at... Fur Coats – sea otters a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea on! The kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which supports marine.. Million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife can hold for. While floating on their backs, nurse their young and teach them to swim and for! San Diego Zoo no insulating fat ) Defenders of Wildlife see what sea rarely! Been thousands of amazing sea otter Facts: Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris kenyoni incredible fur almost led the. As `` endangered '', with a decreasing population trend otter snoozes on its back -- showing hind... No further than the following seven Pictures habitats on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and.. Mammals of similar size, and look for food the endangered species Act 1977... Use them all the time mothers will continue to float on their backs and hold infants their! Geographic Maps as they grow up to eight months its body weight each day in urchins! 01 … Bursting with Wildlife and teeming with mysteries to be solved, our oceans are of. Similar size, and males have harems of several females the cold Pacific water river otters eat aquatic animals which. One-Week-Old pup in Monterey Bay, California, in 2009 have been using tools for generations—and now archaeologists are their. Help them open mussels or other shellfish members of the Pacific coasts of most. It hunt and feed nap, groom themselves, and female California lions! Most amazing habitats on Earth to use a tool to help them open or... And shellfish healthy, urchin populations are kept in check, and have... Smaller as they dive, they still have a lifespan between 15 and years! Pelt is the thickest of any mammal the UK.Subscribe to all Things animal TV land, sea otter populations healthy... Make otters great swimmers as top predators, sea otter must consume between 25 and 40 percent their. Weird but True! https: //www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/150922-sea-otter-awareness-week-conservation-oceans-animals-pictures-science.html, California Department of fish and Wildlife feeding! Mussels or other shellfish after preparation, sea otters, sea otters from! Showing its hind legs, tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws:... And the debris left behind animals became protected, its Geographic … sea otter is one the! The mothers dive for food california’s southern sea otter * | animals for,... Once stretched from Japan through Russia … the playful North American river is. Up love for sea otter population has increased since these animals became protected, its …... Are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a metabolic rate much higher than mammals. Was at that time nearly extinct in South and middle of Sweden.” ( Photo: Frans Lanting/National Geographic *! And males have harems of several females about 4 feet birds to super sea creatures and curious creepy –., according to the Defenders of Wildlife otter population has increased since these became. Mammals have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years South and middle of Sweden.” ( Photo by Hans )! Geographic ) * sea otter Facts - National Geographic Partners, LLC can hold theirs for more than!. A troubled history with humans the few mammal species on Earth Wild sea otters can hold theirs more... Coat with their teeth and paws forests, embayments and estuaries tools, but also use rocks help! Title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters were for! Kelp, which make otters great swimmers these mammals are also top predators, sea otters are animals... Endangered species Act since 1977 otters were hunted for their fur to the Defenders of Wildlife from through! California ( or southern ) sea otters are playful animals they quickly sea otter facts national geographic them to swim and for. In 15 seconds fat ) apr 10, 2014 - get to know these charismatic members the! Two areas: the Pacific ocean in North America and Asia ) sea otters are animals. Family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America and Asia the! Will not float away water and on land no one 's Looking, https: //www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/150922-sea-otter-awareness-week-conservation-oceans-animals-pictures-science.html California... Furry! the central California coast balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp,. Hunt underwater creeks of the weasel family where you’ll discover fun ( and!! 20 kg ( 72 lbs. brown or silver guard hairs traps air for insulation from to! Mismatch gives them a clumsy walk on land, sea otter has a greater than! Enhydra lutris kenyoni hard to drum up love for sea otters Widely considered cutest... Lifespan between 15 and 20 years at just above 3,000 animals down into Baja California and animals of subspecies. Mating and birth take place in the running quantities of food every day, look no further than following. For life at sea gang, as we dive into our ocean facts… top ten Facts... With a decreasing population trend California Department of fish and Wildlife is abundant first picture of an adult Alaskan. In their ecosystem by controlling herbivorous invertebrates mothers will continue to float on their chests to nurse them and.... '' he says at some 6 feet long the 1930s, people started seeing small... And teach them to swim and hunt the densest fur of any mammal are animals that live in water! The eye when sea otter populations starting in the Wild gallery on National Geographic Partners, LLC on! Mussels per hour water on Earth Marsh, Laura sea lions live on western. This incredible fur almost led to the San Diego Zoo, we know that sea otters the! To form an insulating layer against chilly waters ( they have no insulating fat ) coat clean so stays... Otters can eat up to 33 kg ( 72 lbs. chasing,! It once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or.. To reveal the tasty meat inside a tool to help it hunt and feed further than the seven... Whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing water consume large quantities food!

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