Posted by: cherylyoung | May 16, 2012


The sea otter is a weasel-like creature that has a long,

 thick tail with dense, dark brown to blond fur,

 the fur on the head is paler.

The head and neck lighten with age, turning almost

white. Average weight is 70-100 pounds.

 Naturally occurring from the Aleutian Islands to

 Alaska, the sea otter has been transplanted to the

 southern part of Canada’s Pacific coast.

 The sea otter feeds on clams, sea urchins, abalone,

 crabs, mussels, starfish and fish.


They swim belly up with their front paws in the air,

using the webbed hind feet for propulsion.


 They dive for one to two minutes but can stay down

 for up to five minutes.


 They “raft” together in sexually segregated groups

 of up to several hundred animals.

Their dense fur of the sea otter has up to 100 000

 hairs per square centimetre which traps tiny air

 bubbles in it which repels moisture and keeps

 them warm.


The female has one pup every 1-2 years.


The sea otter population was nearly decimated by

the fur trade and they now are a protected and

endangered species.


Their sensitivity to environmental pollution keeps

 them at risk.

 The sea otter is the largest member of the Mustelidae,

 or weasel family, and the only one which lives

almost entirely in the water.


 Sea otters can live up to 25 years of age, although

 the average lifespan is 10 to 12 years.

Length and weight: Although the sea otter is the

smallest marine mammal, the average adult can

 be as large as 5 feet in length and weigh up to

 70 lbs.


The average length of an adult female is 4 feet and

 average weight is 60 lbs.


 At birth, sea otters weigh approximately 5 lbs and

 are 10 inches in length.


Sea otter fur ranges from brown to almost black

 with guard hairs that may be silver, light brown,

or black.


 As a sea otter ages, their hands and necks will

 lighten until almost white.


Fur: Sea otter fur is the finest of any mammal,

 consisting of 850,000 to 1 million hairs per

 square inch.

 Sea otters depend on these hairs to keep them

 warm while in the water.


 If a sea otter’s fur becomes soiled with foreign

 substances such as oil, the sea otter will not be

 able to keep itself insulated.


 Consequently, sea otters spend much of their time

cleaning and grooming their fur.

 Sea otters are social animals who may float together

 in groups of less than 10 to more than 100,

 called rafts.


Usually these groups are separated by sex, females

 and pups spend time in one group and males in



 Otters usually swim on their backs but have been

 known to swim on their stomachs while traveling.


Sea otters will only eat while they are floating, but

 may also groom, rest, and nurse their young.

 It is also common for sea otters to wrap themselves

 in kelp beds when resting or sleeping.


Sea otters have long flat tails and since the majority

 of their time is spent in the water, webbed hind

 feet which are perfect for swimming.


Retractable claws on a sea otter’s front paws allow

 the sea otter to grab food.


Sea otters have round heads, small eyes, and visible



Sea otters are coastal, shallow water dwellers.

Their habitat consists of two areas in these waters-

 the ocean floor where they find their food, and the

ocean surface where they eat, groom, rest and

social interactions occur.


 Sea otters mainly eat benthic invertebrates such as

clams, mussels, urchins, crabs, and fish.


They must dive to capture their food, sometimes up

 to 250 feet.


Sea otters also use “tools” such as a rock to open

 their hard-shelled prey.


Adult sea otters can eat 25 to 30 percent of their

 body weight per day in order to stay warm.


 Feeding is a very important activity for sea otters,

 and occurs mainly in the morning and afternoon.






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