Sea otters, the smallest and most recently evolved of all marine mammals, are in the family Mustelidae that includes weasels, ferrets, badgers, skunks, freshwater and sea otters, and minks. 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!). Average weight of an adult female California sea otter is about 50 lbs. They have four legs to move easily on land, and a long tail to swim through the water. Sea otters eat many kinds of invertebrates, including sea urchins, abalone, clams, crabs, snails, sea stars, squid & octopuses. Large percentage of southern sea otter mortality is due to infectious diseases, many of which are known to have anthropogenic causes. Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. Mothers nurse their young for up to eight months. They float like corks on top of the water unable to dive and therefore, are completely dependent on the mother sea otter. Download for your device. The animals that they prey on devour kelp forests. By the year 2009 the southern sea otters at the coast of California were approximately 2,800, in Alaska, Washington and Canada, and the northern sea otters were between 64,600 to 77,300. Sea otter counts are conducted annually by the U.S. Geological Survey. Mating and pupping occur throughout the year, but on average across the range, a peak period of pupping occurs from October to January, with a secondary peak in March and April. Unlike northern sea otters found in Alaska, southern sea otters here in California don’t eat fish. The Marine Mammal Protection Act states that marine mammal stocks âshould not be permitted to diminish beyond the point at which they cease to be a significant functioning element in the ecosystem of which they are a part.â For southern sea otters, this likely means that the population would have to exceed 8,400 animals in California alone. Sea otters naturally thrive in nearshore habitats. Otters generally prefer to live in water, and have the capability to dive up to 330 feet in search for food. Humans have 100,000 pieces in total on their head, while otters have up to one million hairs per square inch. Under state law, southern sea otters are "fully protected" mammals. In Thailand, the ranges of at least three otter species overlap. 5. Did you know sea otters have built in pouches of loose skin under their forearms to stash extra prey when diving? They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) images and facts - this gallery boasts a stunning display of stock photos showing the unique character of the southern sea otter in countless different positions. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. 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. 9. White shark bites are now the leading cause of sea otter mortality in California. 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). Average adult sea otter: • Length: approximately 4-4.5 feet • Weight: 45 lbs (females); 65 lbs (males; max. A sea otter's diet consists mainly of slow-moving fishes and marine invertebrates including crabs, sea urchins, abalones, clams, mussels, and snails. Here are 5 fun & easy to remember facts about sea otters. The Furriest of Fur Coats – Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal. Sea Otters have a polygynous mating system and show highly significant sexual dimorphism. Two or more otter species occupying the same geographical area usually have different food habits. Sea Otters spend most of their life at sea, but will come ashore in bad weather or to avoid predators. 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. Both mating and birth take place in the water, and males have harems of several females. Average dive duration for California sea otters is about 60 seconds. The sea otter is covered in dense fur that consists of two layers. 2. Pup rearing and provisioning impose high energetic costs on females, requiring them to increase foraging effort during this period and leaving them highly susceptible to stressors they may encounter when they come into estrous after weaning, such as infections and aggression by males. Kelp forests provide numerous direct and indirect benefits, including habitat for hundreds of invertebrate and fish species, reductions in coastal erosion, and carbon storage that can moderate climate change. Newborn pups cannot sink nor can they dive. The population index exceeded 3,090 for the first time in 2016. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. See more ideas about otter love, otters, sea otter. The sea otter's dark brown fur is the finest and densest of any animal fur. A quick glance at facts about California's southern sea otter population.-- Created using PowToon -- Free sign up at http://www.powtoon.com/ -- Create animated… Keystone species are organisms that have large-scale community effects disproportionate to their abundance. Cool Facts. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. Sea otters are one of the only mammals that are been known to use tools to obtain and eat their prey. Fun Facts . Humans have 100,000 pieces in total on their head, while otters have up to one million hairs per square inch. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. Sea otters primarily rely on their sense of touch (whiskers and forepaws) in murky waters to locate prey. The southern sea otter (the species found at SeaWorld San Diego) is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. (1.8-2.3 kg). The southern river otter is listed as endangered, due to illegal hunting, water pollution, and habitat loss. Nope. Before the fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters ranged along the North Pacific Rim from Hokkaido, Japan to Baja California, Mexico. Southern sea otters can live to approximately 15 years for males and 16 years for females. Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools. Is helping the ecosystem to be a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment a! Of pregnancy, fluffier, version of their fur 25 % to 35 % of body... Population index exceeded 3,090 for the first time in the sea otter possessing... Provocax ) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy and Alaska about... 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