Sea Otter Scientific Name:

sea otter habitat | sea otter

Sea otter is scientifically known as Enhydra Lutris.

Where do Sea Otters Live?

Earlier sea otters ranged from Mexico to Alaska. Still, currently, they are habitat along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia, they are yet found in Russia. Sea otters inherit in the shallow coastal areas and prefer the places with kelp. The kelp helps the sea otters to wrap themselves in when they are resting.

A Mammal With Thickest Fur: 

Sea otters are the mammals with the thickest fur, with an estimated one million hair per square inch. Their fur resides of two layers- an undercoat and longer guard hair. The thick fur traps air to form a layer against cold water. Sea otters are thoroughly clean; they wash and clean their coats with their teeth and paws. They need to groom the coats as it will have trouble to absorb the air required to keep their body warm.

What do Sea Otters Eat?

Sea otter eats urchins, crabs, snails, and animals with shells such as calms and abalone and many other marine species. In one-day, sea otters can eat 25%-30% of their body weight to support their high metabolism. Sea otters are one among other mammals to use tools to help them to hunt and feed; it chunks a rock between his armpit and chest. They use hammers against firmly gripped abalone shells to prey them off. Sea otters are the only marine mammal to flip over a boulder on the seafloor to search food; they are only marine animals to catch fish with their fore paws.

Why do sea otters always carry a stone with them?

Sea otters lie on their back and juggle the stones in the air, rolling and catching them skillfully. They form an attachment with specific stones, keep them in armpits, and use to separate the prey. It is said that otters carry their favorite stones with them throughout their lives.

California Sea Otter:

California sea otter is also known as the southern sea otter; these are scientifically called as Enhydra Lutris NereisThe California sea otter was listed endangered species under the Endangered Species Act 1977. The average weight of a southern sea otter is 70 pounds, whereas females can weigh up to 50 pounds. The new population of California sea otter is estimated above 3000. The average length of a southern sea otter is 4 feet. An adult California sea otter consumes 4000 calories daily. Rock and Dungeness crabs are common prey for these species. Southern sea otters don’t eat fishes, unlike the northern sea otters. The California sea otters can dive about the average duration of 60 seconds in 20 feet depth of water. White sharks are the biggest threats to the southern sea otters, a large number of deaths of California sea otters causes due to the parasites and microbes, food restraints, oil spills, and coastal pollution.

Sea Otter Facts:

  • Sea otters are dark brown in appearance, often with light guard hair.
  • Sea otters can reach a maximum length of 4.9 feet and can weigh up to 100 pounds.
  • The lifespan of a wild sea otter is between 15 and 20 years.
  • A group of sea otters sleeping together is known as a raft, and they do not migrate far.
  • Sea otters do not have fatty tissues to keep them warm like other marine creatures.
  • Sea otters can mate throughout the year. The gestation lasts for four to five months. In California, most pups are born between January and March; in Alaska, most are born in summer.
  • Baby sea otters are known as pups, which can weigh 3 to 5 pounds at the time of birth. The mother sea otter spends much time caring and grooming the puppy.
  • Pups begin to dive and forage at about two months of age.
  • While snoozing, the sea otters often sleep by holding paws to keep from drifting apart.
  • Sea otters are threatened for their pelts. Following the international ban on hunting, the number of sea otters overcomes in the 20th century. 

Sea Otter Keystone Species:

The sea urchin is the leading food for the sea otter, by consuming sea urchins, the sea otter can maintain a balance of Eco-system. Sea urchins eat kelp’s in great abundance; when the population of sea urchins is controlled, kelp forests can flourish.