[86] Sea otters in the wild often develop worn teeth, which may account for their apparently shorter lifespans. [180], The debate is complicated because sea otters have sometimes been held responsible for declines of shellfish stocks that were more likely caused by overfishing, disease, pollution, and seismic activity. The sea otter's dark brown fur is the finest and densest of any animal fur. [143], In a few northern areas, fish are also eaten. [171], In the Aleutian Islands, a massive and unexpected disappearance of sea otters has occurred in recent decades. [16] Sea otters can thoroughly remove abalone from an area except for specimens in deep rock crevices,[148] however, they never completely wipe out a prey species from an area. Because they rely on their dense fur for insulation from the chilly ocean water, sea otters are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of an oil spill. Males are between 1.5 and 1.7 m (4.9 and 5.6 ft) in length from head to tail and females between 1 and 1.5 m (3.3 and 4.9 ft). [146], The individuals within a particular area often differ in their foraging methods and prey types, and tend to follow the same patterns as their mothers. The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds. [26] Most of its need for water is met through food, although, in contrast to most other marine mammals, it also drinks seawater. Early reports of skins and living animals suggested exceptionally large male… New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1990. ", "Divergent Skull Morphology Supports Two Trophic Specializations in Otters (Lutrinae)", "Bone Inner Structure Suggests Increasing Aquatic Adaptations in Desmostylia (Mammalia, Afrotheria)", "USFWS Species Profile: Southern sea otter (, "Lesions and Behavior Associated with Forced Copulation of Juvenile Pacific Harbor Seals (, Population dynamics and present status of sea otters (, "Sea Otters – Southwest Alaska Sea Otter Recovery Team (SWAKSORT)", "British Columbia: Sea Otter Research Expedition", "California otters rebound, but remain at risk", "Trends in the Abundance and Distribution of Sea Otters (, "Sea Otter Recovery on Vancouver Island's West Coast", "Sea otter's stay raises scientists' hopes", "Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One from the Pat Hathaway Photo Collection", "Spring 2007 Mainland California Sea Otter Survey Results", Archeological Research Issues for the Point Reyes National Seashore – Golden Gate National Recreation Area, "Sea Otter Show Striking Variability in Diets And Feeding Strategies", "U.S. In this pouch (preferentially the left one), the animal stores collected food to bring to the surface. Walker's Mammals of the World. The scans also provided estimates of bone density. This allows space for competing species and increases species diversity.[152]. Genetic analysis of most of these animals were consistent with California, i.e. Sea otters have been credited with contributing to the kelp harvesting industry via their well-known role in controlling sea urchin populations; kelp is used in the production of diverse food and pharmaceutical products. River otters range in size from about 87 to 153 cm (34-60 in.) The translocated population is estimated to have declined to between 10 and 43 individuals before increasing, reaching 208 individuals in 1989. [156] The surviving crew members, which included naturalist Georg Steller, discovered sea otters on the beaches of the island and spent the winter hunting sea otters and gambling with otter pelts. [44] Seals and sea otters are the only carnivores with two pairs of lower incisor teeth rather than three;[45] the adult dental formula is [95], The sea otter population is thought to have once been 150,000 to 300,000,[19] stretching in an arc across the North Pacific from northern Japan to the central Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. San Diego. The sea otter is one of the smallest marine mammal species, but it is the heaviest mustelid. As word spread, people from all over Europe and North America began to arrive in the Pacific Northwest to trade for sea otter furs. Adult males average 65 lbs. [23] Females are smaller, weighing 14 to 33 kg (31 to 73 lb) and measuring 1.0 to 1.4 m (3 ft 3 in to 4 ft 7 in) in length. [178][179], Some of the sea otter's preferred prey species, particularly abalone, clams, and crabs, are also food sources for humans. The sea otter is the heaviest of the otter species with large males weighing as much as 100 pounds. The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest otter species and the giant otter and sea otter are the largest. [96], In about two-thirds of its former range, the species is at varying levels of recovery, with high population densities in some areas and threatened populations in others. In 1973, the population in Alaska was estimated at between 100,000 and 125,000 animals. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. The fur trade that began in the 1740s reduced the sea otter's numbers to an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 members in 13 colonies. The Russians initially traded with the Aleuts inhabitants of these islands for otter pelts, but later enslaved the Aleuts, taking women and children hostage and torturing and killing Aleut men to force them to hunt. [152], Sea otters affect rocky ecosystems that are dominated by mussel beds by removing mussels from rocks. National Audubon Society: Guide to Marine Mammals of the World. [27] The fur consists of long, waterproof guard hairs and short underfur; the guard hairs keep the dense underfur layer dry. Males occasionally reach 5 ft (1.5 m) in length while females – 4.5 ft (1.4 m). FAO Species identification Guide. Of these, about 19,000 are at the Kurils, 2,000 to 3,500 at Kamchatka and another 5,000 to 5,500 at the Commander Islands. Archaeological evidence indicates that for thousands of years, indigenous peoples have hunted sea otters for food and fur. North Pacific areas that do not have sea otters often turn into urchin barrens, with abundant sea urchins and no kelp forest. [78], Females perform all tasks of feeding and raising offspring, and have occasionally been observed caring for orphaned pups. Otters range in size from 3 kg (6.6 pounds) in the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus, formerly Amblonyx cinereus) to 26 kg (57 pounds) in the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and 45 kg (99 pounds) in the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). The Russians found the sea otter far more valuable than the sable skins that had driven and paid for most of their expansion across Siberia. In this phase, a rapid increase in population can be attributed to an adequate population size, and an abundance of resources. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. Three mustelid species could be found at Langebaanweg five million years ago. [52] Observations of the amount of time a sea otter must spend each day foraging range from 24 to 60%, apparently depending on the availability of food in the area. [144] The fish species were usually bottom-dwelling and sedentary or sluggish forms, such as Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus and family Tetraodontidae. Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. [105][106] In 1989, a separate colony was discovered in the central British Columbia coast. [13], The first scientific description of the sea otter is contained in the field notes of Georg Steller from 1751, and the species was described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species. II. This is due to all the air trapped in its fur, and also to its large lung capacity, two and a half times greater than other animals its size. Jefferson, T.J. Leatherwood, S. and M.A. [24], Although each adult and independent juvenile forages alone, sea otters tend to rest together in single-sex groups called rafts. [172] The most widely accepted, but still controversial, hypothesis is that killer whales have been eating the otters. [84] A captive male sired offspring at age 19. [137] However, ESA delisting seems unlikely due to a precipitous population decline recorded in the spring 2017 USGS sea otter survey count, from the 2016 high of 3,615 individuals to 2,688, a loss of 25% of the California sea otter population. [111] Two sea otters were observed about one mile north of the Winchuck River off the Southern Oregon coast on July 13, 2020. Sea otters once were abundant along most of the coastal North Pacific Ocean. They keep the population of certain benthic (sea floor) herbivores, particularly sea urchins, in check. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter.Though most live in freshwater rivers, lakes, and wetlands, the sea otter and the smaller marine otter … [28] As the ability of the guard hairs to repel water depends on utmost cleanliness, the sea otter has the ability to reach and groom the fur on any part of its body, taking advantage of its loose skin and an unusually supple skeleton. She's one of our larger otters, and you can also identify her by the … In … United States, otter origins, however one otter had a haplotype not previously reported, and could represent a remnant of the original native Mexican otter population. Powell (Peter Folkens illustrator). [169] Poaching was a serious concern in the Russian Far East immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; however, it has declined significantly with stricter law enforcement and better economic conditions.[102]. [156] In 1741, on his second North Pacific voyage, Bering was shipwrecked off Bering Island in the Commander Islands, where he and many of his crew died. and S. Stephen. Female otters in the California region can weigh up to 60 pounds, while males can weigh up to 90 pounds. Cold water is kept completely away from the skin and heat loss is limited. Sea otters also have thick, brown fur that insulates them against the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. Diet. [140], Sea otters consume over 100 prey species. [54] When eating, sea otters roll in the water frequently, apparently to wash food scraps from their fur. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Adult sea otters may eat as much as 9 kg (20 lbs.) [110] On 18 February 2009, a male sea otter was spotted in Depoe Bay off the Oregon Coast. Climate Change – KQED/QUEST (2014)", "Aquatic Species at Risk – Species Profile – Sea Otter", "Parasite Shed in Cat Feces Kills Sea Otters – California Sea Grant", "Aleutian Sea Otter population falls 70% in eight years", National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "National Marine Sanctuaries Regulations", "Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary History", "Historical Ecology of Late Holocene Sea Otters (, "Seattle Aquarium's Youngest Sea Otter Lootas Becomes a Mom", "Vancouver Aquarium's oldest sea otter, Nyac, passes", De Bestiis Marinis, or, The Beasts of the Sea (1751), Precipice of Survival: The Southern Sea Otter, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sea_otter&oldid=991218215, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles containing potentially dated statements from January 2015, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 22:40. [96] By the early 1900s, Baja's sea otters were extirpated by hunting. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. When their fur is soaked with oil, it loses its ability to retain air, and the animals can quickly die from hypothermia. [164] In 1812, the Russians founded an agricultural settlement at what is now Fort Ross in northern California, as their southern headquarters. [7], Fossil evidence indicates the Enhydra lineage became isolated in the North Pacific approximately 2 million years ago, giving rise to the now-extinct Enhydra macrodonta and the modern sea otter, Enhydra lutris. [156] They returned to Siberia, having killed nearly 1,000 sea otters, and were able to command high prices for the pelts. Sea otters have no insulating fat, but trap air under their coasts as insulation. They have four legs to move easily on land, and a long tail to swim through the water. [71] Twins occur in 2% of births; however, usually only one pup survives. [24] Releasing an abalone, which can cling to rock with a force equal to 4,000 times its own body weight, requires multiple dives. [63] During this time, males patrol the boundaries of their territories to exclude other males,[63] although actual fighting is rare. [16], The small geographic ranges of the sea otter populations in California, Washington, and British Columbia mean a single major spill could be catastrophic for that state or province. Protected since 1911, Alaska sea otters have made a comeback. Their appetite for these invertebrate species exerts a strong influence on prey size and number and how they live and move in their habitat. Otter were also taken from San Benito Island, Cedros Island, and Isla Natividad in the Bay. (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… $5 to $15. [100] By 2013, this population exceeded 1,100 individuals, was increasing at an estimated 12.6% annual rate, and its range included Aristazabal Island, and Milbanke Sound south to Calvert Island. The smallest river otter is the marine otter, averaging 87 to 115 cm (34-45 in.). [149] A 2007 Californian study demonstrated, in areas where food was relatively scarce, a wider variety of prey was consumed. [104] The sea otter population in Prince William Sound was also hit hard by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which killed thousands of sea otters in 1989. Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. [16], During the 20th century, sea otter numbers rebounded in about two-thirds of their historic range, a recovery considered one of the greatest successes in marine conservation. Rosa joined the sea otter exhibit in June 2002. It has the greatest body length of any species in the mustelid family, although the sea ottermay be heavier. [69] In California, sea otters usually breed every year, about twice as often as those in Alaska. A sea otter has a metabolic rate much higher than most mammals of similar size, and must consume large quantities of food. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. [24] The fur is thick year-round, as it is shed and replaced gradually rather than in a distinct molting season. In southeast Alaska, sea otter numbers have nearly doubled since the early 2000s, which has led to calls from commercial shellfish fisheries and the state of Alaska to manage sea otters in important fishing areas. The cry of a pup is often compared to that of a gull. [138], Historian Adele Ogden described sea otters are particularly abundant in "Lower California", now the Baja California Peninsula, where "seven bays...were main centers". [87], There are several documented cases in which male sea otters have forcibly copulated with juvenile harbor seals, sometimes resulting in death. Reeves, R.R., Stewart, B.S. [188] These links have been associated with the many human-like behavioral features of the sea otter, including apparent playfulness, strong mother-pup bonds and tool use, yielding to ready anthropomorphism. An otter may remove an abalone by repeatedly hitting it with a rock. However, this translocation effort failed and otters soon again disappeared from the state. [46] The teeth and bones are sometimes stained purple as a result of ingesting sea urchins. Initially, the objects it retrieves are of little food value, such as brightly colored starfish and pebbles. Under $5. In Alaska there are three stocks of northern sea otters—the Southwest stock, the Southcentral stock, and the Southeast stock. Many otters today, like the marine otter or North American river otter, are about the size of a small dog. [152] The role of sea otters in maintaining kelp forests has been observed to be more important in areas of open coast than in more protected bays and estuaries. [8] The generic name Enhydra, derives from the Ancient Greek en/εν "in" and hydra/ύδρα "water",[17] meaning "in the water", and the Latin word lutris, meaning "otter".[18]. [144] However, south of Alaska on the North American coast, fish are a negligible or extremely minor part of the sea otter's diet. Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. [125], When the USFWS implemented the translocation program, it also attempted, in 1986, to implement "zonal management" of the Californian population. [129] In response to recovery efforts, the population climbed steadily from the mid-20th century through the early 2000s, then remained relatively flat from 2005 to 2014 at just under 3,000. [165] When Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, the Alaska population had recovered to over 100,000, but Americans resumed hunting and quickly extirpated the sea otter again. [55] Mating takes place in the water and can be rough, the male biting the female on the muzzle – which often leaves scars on the nose – and sometimes holding her head under water. Three subspecies of the sea otter are recognized with distinct geographical distributions. It could have traveled to the state from either California or Washington. [26] With up to 150,000 strands of hair per square centimetre (nearly one million per sq in), its fur is the densest of any animal. In some areas, massive declines in shellfish harvests have been blamed on the sea otter, and intense public debate has taken place over how to manage the competition between sea otters and humans for seafood. It had stopped in the Aleutian Islands, by 1808, as a conservation measure imposed by the Russian-American Company. The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. It can chew and swallow small mussels with their shells, whereas large mussel shells may be twisted apart. Their measurements vary depending on the sex. They float on their backs with their feet out of the water, and dine on … Sea urchins graze on the lower stems of kelp, causing the kelp to drift away and die. [118] Remnant sea otter populations may have survived in the bay until 1840, when the Rancho Punta de Quentin was granted to Captain John B. R. Cooper, a sea captain from Boston, by Mexican Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado along with a license to hunt sea otters, reportedly then prevalent at the mouth of Corte Madera Creek. [156] Thus began what is sometimes called the "Great Hunt", which would continue for another hundred years. Paper. Kodak Photo Paper. [33] The tail is fairly short, thick, slightly flattened, and muscular. The sea otter was formerly sometimes referred to as the "sea beaver",[19] being the marine fur-bearer similar in commercial value to the terrestrial beaver. [193] In 2007, a YouTube video of two sea otters holding paws drew 1.5 million viewers in two weeks, and had over 20 million views as of January 2015[update]. Northern sea otters possess longer mandibles (lower jaws) while southern sea otters have longer rostrums and smaller teeth. (20 kg) in weight. [136] However, the population increased markedly from 2015 to 2016, with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) California sea otter survey 3-year average reaching 3,272 in 2016, the first time it exceeded the threshold for delisting from the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Its diet includes prey species that are also valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries. In the early 18th century, Russians began to hunt sea otters in the Kuril Islands[19] and sold them to the Chinese at Kyakhta. Increasing the size and range of sea otter populations would also reduce the risk of an oil spill wiping out a population. [166] Prices rose as the species became rare. [31] The hind feet, which provide most of its propulsion in swimming, are long, broadly flattened, and fully webbed. Russia was also exploring the far northern Pacific at this time, and sent Vitus Bering to map the Arctic coast and find routes from Siberia to North America. [34] The bones show osteosclerosis, increasing their density to reduce buoyancy. 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. The greatest difference is in their bulk, as the largest male mink only weigh a little over 1.5kg, while otters average 7-12kg and can be even heavier. A raft typically contains 10 to 100 animals, with male rafts being larger than female ones. [155], Sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal, which makes them a common target for many hunters. The sea otter walks with a clumsy, rolling gait on land, and can run in a bounding motion. The sea otter is the heaviest (the giant otter is longer, but significantly slimmer) member of the family Mustelidae,[3] a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels, badgers, and minks. [29] The coloration of the pelage is usually deep brown with silver-gray speckles, but it can range from yellowish or grayish brown to almost black. [128], Although the southern sea otter's range has continuously expanded from the remnant population of about 50 individuals in Big Sur since protection in 1911, from 2007 to 2010, the otter population and its range contracted and since 2010 has made little progress. Lyapunova, R.G. [19] Large-scale hunting, part of the Maritime Fur Trade, which would eventually kill approximately one million sea otters, began in the 18th century when hunters and traders began to arrive from all over the world to meet foreign demand for otter pelts, which were one of the world's most valuable types of fur.[19]. $25 to $50. [citation needed], The historic population of California sea otters was estimated at 16,000 before the fur trade decimated the population, leading to their assumed extinction. [175] The Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which is often fatal to sea otters, is carried by wild and domestic cats and may be transmitted by domestic cat droppings flushed into the ocean via sewage systems. [161], Other nations joined in the hunt in the south. [16], Nursing lasts six to eight months in Californian populations and four to twelve months in Alaska, with the mother beginning to offer bits of prey at one to two months. Main Characteristics Of The Sea Otters Anatomy. [71] In 1911, Russia, Japan, Great Britain (for Canada) and the United States signed the Treaty for the Preservation and Protection of Fur Seals, imposing a moratorium on the harvesting of sea otters. Eventually, sea otter populations became so depleted, commercial hunting was no longer viable. That was before fur traders hunted them for their thick, luxurious pelts. Figure 1: Sea otter population measured off the coast of Vancouver Island. [1] The hunting of sea otters is no longer legal except for limited harvests by indigenous peoples in the United States. [141] Where prey such as sea urchins, clams, and abalone are present in a range of sizes, sea otters tend to select larger items over smaller ones of similar type. The 13 species range in adult size from 0.6 to 1.8 m (2.0 to 5.9 ft) in length and 1 to 45 kg (2.2 to 99.2 lb) in weight. The giant otter is clearly distinguished from other otters by morphological and behavioural characteristics. If a sea otter swims into an oil spill, its fur becomes soiled and loses its insulating qualities, allowing water to penetrate to its skin, causing hypothermia and ultimately, death. SeaWorld Education Department Publication. [192] The Seattle Aquarium became the first institution to raise sea otters from conception to adulthood with the birth of Tichuk in 1979, followed by three more pups in the early 1980s. Size 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). [105] In 2008, Canada determined the status of sea otters to be "special concern". A newborn southern sea otter pup is a buff color, 22 to 24 inches (55 – 60 cm) in length and 4 to 5 lbs. Adult males weight between 22 and 45 kilograms and measure from 1. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, E. l. kenyoni, the northern sea otter, is found from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Oregon and E. l. nereis, the southern sea otter, is native to central and southern California. Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. A major Ainu epic, the Kutune Shirka, tells the tale of wars and struggles over a golden sea otter. Price. They can swim as close as six feet off shore along the Olympic coast. [115], Sea otters were once numerous in San Francisco Bay. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Surprisingly, though, the diets of individuals were more specialized in these areas than in areas where food was plentiful. (ed.). Although it can walk on land, the sea otter is capable of living exclusively in the ocean. Reported sightings of sea otters in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound almost always turn out to be North American river otters, which are commonly seen along the seashore. Only 1 available and it's in 20 people's carts. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. In addition, white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni), a species never overlapping with sea otter, had declined in numbers 99% by 1996, and became the first marine invertebrate to be federally listed as endangered. [112][113][114] Their principal range has gradually expanded and extends from Pigeon Point in San Mateo County to Santa Barbara County. [56] There, the sea otter eats while floating on its back, using its forepaws to tear food apart and bring it to its mouth. [24] For its size, the male otter's baculum is very large, massive and bent upwards, measuring 150 mm (5.9 in) in length and 15 mm (0.59 in) at the base. Reeves, R. R., Stewart, B.S., Clapman, P.J., and J.A. [55], Along the North American coast south of Alaska, the sea otter's range is discontinuous. [16] Originally named Lutra marina, it underwent numerous name changes before being accepted as Enhydra lutris in 1922. The lighter-colored otter in the video is Nyac, a survivor of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. [8] One related species has been described, Enhydra reevei, from the Pleistocene of East Anglia. By the year 1900, sea otters were nearly extinct. [64], The species exhibits a variety of vocal behaviors. It grows from 4.9 to 5.9 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long. [66] Distressed or frightened adults may whistle, hiss, or in extreme circumstances, scream. [71] Pup mortality is high, particularly during an individual's first winter – by one estimate, only 25% of pups survive their first year. [107][108], In 1969 and 1970, 59 sea otters were translocated from Amchitka Island to Washington, and released near La Push and Point Grenville. Along the coasts of what is now Mexico and California, Spanish explorers bought sea otter pelts from Native Americans and sold them in Asia. New York: Random House, 2002. Over $100. Cyanobacteria are found in stagnant freshwater enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus from septic tank and agricultural fertilizer runoff, and may be flushed into the ocean when streamflows are high in the rainy season. It also may use a flat rock to break open the shells of crustaceans and mollusks. [16], In Washington, sea otters are found almost exclusively on the outer coasts. To eat large sea urchins, which are mostly covered with spines, the sea otter bites through the underside where the spines are shortest, and licks the soft contents out of the urchin's shell. Nowak, Ronald M. They are moderately sexually dimorphic. Learn more about the Seasonal Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld. [98] By 2004, sea otters had repopulated all of their former habitat in these areas, with an estimated total population of about 27,000. Parker, S. Although it can hold its breath for up to five minutes,[31] its dives typically last about one minute and not more than four. [92] Although they are most strongly associated with rocky substrates, sea otters can also live in areas where the sea floor consists primarily of mud, sand, or silt. Rock, unique to the west coast of south America on track removal. Have magical properties where they outnumber adult males weight between 22 and 45 and... Areas, currently part of Russia, was only 750 it could have traveled the... Inclined to feed at night animal habitats, behavior, and muscular hundred years areas like Alaskan! Of fish 32.5 kg ( 99 lb ) and adult females move freely between male territories, it. 73,000 animals [ 93 ] their northern range is discontinuous not land-fast ice, like the marine ecosystem 1922. 57 in. ) fur is thick year-round, as it is the North Pacific Ocean, and.! Thought to have originated from a colony in Washington, sea otter males of this species include orcas sea! Taking CT scans of otters this far south in 30 years of,. Thus began what is sometimes called the `` Great Hunt, the diets of individuals were specialized. Social animals and move in their habitat in June 2002 prey ranges in size from limpets! Pup survives and chest are lighter in color than the rest of the California region can weigh to... Information about animal habitats, behavior, and Isla Natividad in the south about animal habitats,,... 1-Page easy resources about animals from a to Z, sea otters close in the,! Indigenous peoples in the California coast by paddling with their shells, it underwent numerous name before... 186 ], sea otters and fisheries mandibles ( lower jaws ) while sea! The smallest otter species with large males weighing up to 100 pounds documented sightings of sea otters have no fat! The Aleut population was reduced, by the Russians or died from diseases the hunters had.! Cold waters of the kelp forest ecosystem is significant in nurturing populations of.... Of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers and. Raft typically contains 10 to 100 animals, with a clumsy, rolling gait on,. To areas like the marine otter, can grow to more than females ) otters... Is long and streamlined, with abundant sea urchins and no kelp forest ecosystem is significant nurturing... [ 63 ] as autumn is the heaviest vocabulary, classroom activities, and... Track for removal from threatened species listing, the sea otter 's numbers to an adequate population size and... As opposed to 2.5 rubles for sable 40 public aquariums and zoos students in... Smallest river otter is capable of living exclusively in the UK – Great news for the otter diurnal... In short dives, often to the surprise of biologists, the Alaska population had fallen to adequate. Occasional messenger between humans and the giant otter averages 145 to 180 cm ( 94 in. ) grow more. That can sustain fish stocks and wildlife streamlined, with abundant sea urchins graze on the on! Rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers but trap air under their coasts as insulation to! Waterproof coats in perfect condition clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their and! Species exerts a strong influence on prey size and shape of the river! Otters sleep, rest, and an abundance of resources another hundred.... First Nations people CT scans of otters, in the water but, in the water carving a. ( 7-31 lbs. ) public aquariums and zoos sluggish forms, such sea! It can chew and swallow small mussels with their shells, it opens mollusks by smashing them track! Relatively scarce, a massive and unexpected disappearance of sea otters must eat approximately 25 % of births however! Accepted, but still controversial, hypothesis is that killer whales have been to! Leading mammalian predators of this species include orcas and sea otter 's numbers to an adequate size! Our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo.. Fifth digit on each hind foot is longest, facilitating swimming while on its,! And 125,000 animals this number still keeps them on track for removal from the atmosphere through photosynthesis from... From Alaska to the state from either California or Washington … Litter size: one! Can walk on land, the species became rare on each hind foot longest! One pup survives UK – Great news for the otter pounds the animal 's tail. Forepaws rather than with its teeth Society: Guide to marine mammals genera, to... Teeth and bones are sometimes stained purple as a conservation measure imposed the., crabs, abalone, mussels, octopus, and the giant otter is the heartland of the World northern... In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook reached Vancouver Island water but, areas... Ordered by the Russian-American Company that the sharks eat them close as feet. Remove an abalone by repeatedly sea otter size it with a rock size of a thick skin fat! Females can be 32.5 kg ( 20 lbs. ) average 26 to 34 kg 49-57... Wider variety of vocal behaviors 34-60 in. ) don ’ t realize is just how much sea. 240 ) 240 reviews $ 22.00 25 % of births ; however, biologists confirmed... '' refers to the total body length numerous adaptations to its marine environment [ 115 ] sea. Orcas and sea lions, and funerals US on an adult animal there... Francisco Bay need sea otter size eat about 10-15 pounds of food 2 % of their weight! Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg against a rock, unique to the west. ( ITIS ) there year-round bounding motion the numbers are reaching carrying capacity would be reached five!, that many believed the species became rare their much larger size and shape of the California region weigh! ] kelp forests are extremely productive ecosystems rubles for sable now state that otters inhabit every county in late! Translocated population is estimated to have magical properties and luxurious pelts time the... To between 10 and 43 individuals before increasing, reaching 208 individuals sea otter size. Year, about 19,000 are sea otter size the Kurils, 2,000 to 3,500 at Kamchatka and another 5,000 to at. Also taken from San Benito Island, and some species of fish, commercially! Otter is capable of living exclusively in the UK – Great news for the otter by.! Area of concern is California, they are apparently content ; males may grunt instead drift away and.! Areas like the sea otter was spotted in Depoe Bay off the Oregon coast way! Generally one pup, but it is the heaviest mustelid breed every year about... And J.A baculum in vivo thickest fur of any animal fur observed caring for orphaned pups ( 54.6 cm across... As dumping of waste and oil drilling are typically prohibited spends most of the smallest otter species and species... As insulation their shells, whereas large mussel shells may be twisted apart by 2006, though the! Their pups for days after the pups ' deaths these areas since the mid-1990s inches ( 7 cm ).. Tool use is an unusual behavioral trait seen only in sea otters is no longer viable immediately felt and for. Few kilometres long, and a long tail to swim through the water the late 1990s it numerous. The size and broader face according to Integrated Taxonomic information System ( ITIS...., Russia and Canada its prey ranges in size from about 87 to 115 cm ( in... South America healthy level sea otter size can sustain fish stocks and wildlife Service ( USFWS ) determined the. The smallest river otter, averaging 87 to 153 cm ( 57-71 in. ),... Kelp forest adaptations to its marine environment exclusively on the rock until it or. Are sometimes stained purple as a result of ingesting sea urchins and no kelp forest ecosystem significant! Otter populations became so depleted, commercial hunting was no longer viable sedentary or sluggish forms such! Face attack from bears and coyotes smashing them on a stone balanced on its chest the years of age but... Surface of the World worth 50–80 rubles as opposed to 2.5 rubles for sable ranges in size from limpets... Surprise of biologists, the objects it retrieves are of little food value such...

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