All otter species appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and only one is listed as "least concern." 3. All rights reserved. To keep from drifting apart while they snooze, sea otters often sleep holding paws. They have very thick fur – near about 250,000 to one million hair per square inch. Newborn sea otter pups are so buoyant they can’t immediately dive for food. Otters are mammals of the subfamily Lutrinae, one of two subfamilies contained within the family Mustelidae. Like polar bears in the Arctic, sea otters are considered keystone species in their ecosystems, because they affect great influence on their environments. An otter is one of the few species that use tools. They use their sea whiskers to find small creatures to eat, and their paws to dig for clams. 6. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. 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. Sea Otter Facts: Habitat: Northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. But the sea otter’s habitat is unique, as they only live in shallow coastal waters in the North Pacific ocean. In appearance, sea otters are stouter and have larger rib cages, smaller tails and blunter muzzles than other species of otters. Sea otter is the heaviest and the second smallest aquatic member of weasel family. 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. View our inclusive approach to conservation. Sea otters can grow between 34 and 60 inches in length. Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal species. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. Sea otters have no blubber so they constantly groom themselves to maintain the insulating & water repellant properties of their fur. 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. Average dive duration for California sea otters is about 60 seconds. 1. 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. And the only marine mammal to catch fish with its forepaws and not its mouth. Weight of otter depends on their breed. 5. They live in offshore forests of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), and spend most of their active time foraging below the canopy. Tune into our LIVE Sea Otter Cam for your daily dose of sea otter cuteness. North American Sea Otters are larger than Asian otters. Sea otters don’t let death hold them back from going to pound town. And, the Russian population consists of approximately 15,000 with about a dozen in Japan. National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. 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. Most sea otters measure less than 50 inches. Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools. 2. 1. california sea otters divide themselves in diet guilds. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species. Therefore, sea otters are obsessive about keeping their fur clean, and groom themselves practically non-stop when they’re not eating or sleeping. 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. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. 5. They will use rocks to open food like clams, sea urchins and crabs. 6. Aber das ist kein Problem für den talentierten Seeotter, die Risse die Schalen öffnen , indem sie mit Steinen hämmern. Sea otters are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae). The population eventually bottomed out at only 1,000 to 2,000 by the early 20th century. WWF® and ©1986 Panda Symbol are owned by WWF. They live mainly on land that is very close to bodies of water. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. With populations once estimated at close to 300,000, sea otters were hunted extensively for their pelts. Have you ever seen an otter with a scarred or bloody nose? – Source 12. National Geographic: North American River Otter 3. They carry rocks and store food in the loose skin under their armpits - who needs carrier bags! Clever creatures, they'll use rocks to crack open the clams. They are often mistaken for beavers though. 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. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. 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. Still, they remain classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “endangered.”. Sea otters are the heaviest of the 13 otter species (giant otters are the longest). Longest dive ever recorded was just under 8 minutes. Once at the surface, they often eat by placing the food on their stomachs, and then placing a rock on their stomachs and then smashing the prey on the rock to open it and get at the flesh inside. Introduction to Otters. The North American Sea Otter is a much larger breed compared to Asian counterpart species, who only grow to around 10 pounds. 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. Sea Otter Facts & Information. Sea otters are known to wrap their pups and themselves in kelp to keep from drifting out to sea. 4. 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. Sea otters eat sea urchins & other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard h… Pups are born year round. On average, an adult male California sea otter consumes over 4,000 calories daily. These adorable little guys have long, streamlined bodies that are just made for being in the water. Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months. Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris)! Did you know sea otters have built in pouches of loose skin under their forearms to stash extra prey when diving? Sea otters are equally active both night and day. Its fur is the densest of any animal on Earth—an estimated 1 million hairs per square inch. Sea otter moms typically nurse and care for their pups for about 6 months before weaning them. 4. Deepest dive recorded is 264 feet. Additional resources 1. The sea otter must consume between 25 and 40 percent of its body weight daily, just to keep warm. Want to watch cute sea otters romp, wrestle and play every day of the year? They are native to the northern coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, from northern Japan to Baja, Mexico. Sea otters eat 25% of their body weight in food every day. Sea otters are known to wrap their pups and themselves in kelp to keep from drifting out to sea. 8. The Russian Sea Otter is found off the eastern coast of Russia and several have been reported in Japan. Sea otters use rocks to remove prey from their shells. I recently found out that sea otters fall asleep holding paws and my heart has never been so full. These include fully webbed hind feet; nostrils and ears … Sea otter facts! Einige dieser Tiere haben harte Schalen, die sie vor Räubern zu schützen. The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. This page contains sea otter facts and information, and is part of our Arctic Animals series. They usually weigh between 7 to 31 pounds (3 – 14 kg). Research has shown that sea otters are vital to the health of carbon-absorbing kelp forests. Facts about Sea Otter, Giant Otter, European Otter, African Otter and River Otter. Gestation is 6 months (2 months … It wedges a rock between its chest and the “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to open them up. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters … In environments where sea otter populations … The sea otter’s diet includes fish, crabs, molluscs, and sea urchins, and it has very strong teeth for crushing their shells. Here are some viewing tips to help you enjoy watching sea otters and other marine wildlife in a safe and responsible way. 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. Sea otter moms typically only give birth to 1 pup. 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. 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