SEA OTTER

Sea otter are the heaviest members of the weasel family

  • Sea otter are the smallest marine mammal
  • Sea otters havethe densest(very thick) fur in the animal kingdom, do not have a blubber (fat) layer, rely on their fur to keep warm ,their fur consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs, this system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet
  • Sea otter are usually dark brown, fur ranges from brown almost to black with guard hairs that may be silver, light brown or black.
  • Females give birth to one pup usually at the age of four or five, can be born anytime of year, can breed twice a year
  • Females and pups spending time together in one group and males in another
  • Sea otters are one of the few animals to use tools, they eat animals with shells, like urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, snails, and use a stone to break open to shells
  • Sea otters can eat 25% - 30% of their weight in food each day
  • Sea otters spend much of their lives in the water and can dive up to 330 feet when foraging for food. Sea otter rest in coastal areas and prefer places with kelp, they use the kelp to wrap themselves in to keep from drifting away
  • If their fur is oiled, it loses its insulating qualities and the sea otters soon chill, also affected by the oil fumes or poisoned by eating food exposed to oil. Most sea otters quickly die in an oil spill
  • Other threats to sea otters include infectious diseases, parasites, boat strikes, entanglements and toxins