Mothers cuddle their young while floating on their backs and hold infants on their chests to nurse them. It has short tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws. To ensure that they stay dry they must spend… The fur trade decimated sea otter populations starting in the 1700s, eventually exterminating them from most of their historic range. Sea otters can eat up to 75 mussels per hour. National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. Luna the Sea Otter Luna the sea otter was rescued from the rocky shores of central California, where she was found alone, cold, and hungry. Sea otters are quite large, weighing up to 100 pounds (45 kg) and reaching lengths of nearly 5 feet (1.5 m). A sea otter and her one-week-old pup in Monterey Bay, California, in 2009. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. They prey on sea urchins, preventing them from overgrazing the forest of kelp, which supports marine diversity. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. clams, abalone, sea urchins, & many other animals. In fact, when sea otter populations plummeted in the 1700 and 1800s—they were once hunted almost to extinction for their beautiful pelts—kelp forests suffered greatly. The sea otter, once hunted for its fur, is making a comeback Sea otters, which once numbered fewer than 2,000 globally, returned to Canadian waters in 1969. Even a baby sea otter can stay warm on the open ocean, but they do need some help from their mothers. At birth, the weight of a pup is 3 to 5 pounds. They quickly teach them to swim and hunt for themselves. Family: The sea otter is the largest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, and... Channel Homepage - National Geographic Channel Because the mismatch gives them a clumsy walk on land, sea otters rarely stray too far from the sea. Report abuse. Campaigns such as the current Sea Otter Awareness Week—which runs from September 20 to 26—aim to help people see past the adorable surface of a sea otter and into the deeper conservation issues these animals face. The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. These sea … National Geographic Maps As they dive, they close their ears and nostrils to keep water out. It is made up of a waterproof top layer and a short underlayer, which can contain as many as one million hairs per square inch. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. They also snack on such aquatic creatures as sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopuses, and fish. Although the sea otter population has increased since these animals became protected, its geographic … It wedges a rock between its chest and the “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to open them up. They are generally found in open water, where they prefer to fish, but are sometimes found in rivers near the coast as well. The males of this subspecies weigh around 65 pounds while females are 45 pounds in weight. The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Thank you for listening. Sea Otters Facts and Photos This incredible fur almost led to the near extinction of the sea otter, which was hunted down to only a few colonies. * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. But did you know these mammals are also top predators? The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. Unlike some marine mammals, sea otters rely on thick fur instead of blubber to keep warm in the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean. It’s Sea Otter Awareness Week!! An otter’s lung capacity is 2.5 times greater … Otters grab their prey in their mouths. 01 … Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea … Vey 3 Geographics) 1. growth for sea otter populations is 17-20% a year. Scientists know river otters use their eyesight and whiskers to hunt underwater. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. Its ears and nostrils are closed down in water. A thick layer of underfur covered by black, pale brown or silver guard hairs traps air for insulation. * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. National Geographic. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. N.p., n.d. animal facts about our planet’s incredible wildlife. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Sea Otter | National Geographic. Males can weigh up to 70 lbs. 2. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. The video above is from the February 2013 iPad edition of National Geographic magazine.. River otters are playful animals. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. Sea otters are on the red (endangered) list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). 2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. The ICUN classifies the sea otter as "Endangered", with a decreasing population trend. Let's celebrate these adorable creatures! Image 5 of 8 from the Otters gallery on National Geographic. Both mating and birth take place in the water, and males have harems of several females. Learns to read and learn about real animals while enjoying a soft miniature stuffy of one! OTTER FACTS FOR KIDS! Some population counts revealed about 50 otters along the central California coast, says Michael Harris, a sea otter biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who is based in Morro Bay near San Luis Obispo. 1. Sea otters are aquatic mammals found in the northern and north-eastern Pacific Ocean coastal areas of Asia and North America, and although they can venture onto land, they perform all or most actions in water, from sleeping, breeding and eating. 1. 5. Made in the UK.Subscribe to All Things Animal TV! When sea otter populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept in check, and kelp is abundant. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters Paperback – Illustrated, July 8, 2014 by Laura Marsh (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 212 ratings. They're also adorable. Sea otters eat 25 percent of their body weight each day in sea urchins, crabs, clams, snails and other invertebrates. They hunt underwater, skillfully chasing fish, their main food. Otters have to eat vast amounts of food every day, which takes up a significant portion of their time. 01 … Bursting with wildlife and teeming with mysteries to be solved, our oceans are one of the most amazing habitats on Earth. A sea otter snoozes on its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed feet, which make otters great swimmers. That helps keep the populations of these spiny pests in check. SEA OTTER FACTS : Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris kenyoni . Ecological niche. The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Sea otters can hold their breather underwater for more than 5 minutes, and river otters can hold theirs for more than 8! Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Mothers nurse their young for up to eight months. Older sea otters sometimes get silver… They need to keep their fur coat clean so it stays waterproof. While floating on their backs, sea otters not only nap, but also use rocks to help them open mussels or other shellfish. Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." After preparation, Sea Otters eat their food on the surface of the water, typically on their backs. Sea Otter Facts: Families. The size of the California (or southern) sea otters is about 4 feet. They gorge on more than 100 different prey species. Read more. Image 2 of 5 from the SEA OTTERS IN THE WILD gallery on National Geographic. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- These semi-aquatic mammals feed on fish, squid, and shellfish. Now two subspecies inhabit coastlines from the Kuril Islands (map) in Russia over to the Aleutian Islands and down into Washington state, while the third lives off of California. Cuteness! By the early 1900s, the sea otter was thought to be extinct off of California. Sea otters are found in two areas : The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and along the central California coast. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters Paperback – Illustrated, July 8, 2014 by Laura Marsh (Author) 4.8 out of 5 ... Easy early reading with good facts! Sea otters play a big role in their ecosystem by controlling herbivorous invertebrates. Can otters use tools? Sea otters h Here are five fun facts you otter know: Sea otters … North American River Otters Facts and Photos. video. If you've ever wondered what these furry marine mammals do all day, look no further than the following seven pictures. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. Female: Adult female Alaskan sea otters can reach weights of up to 33 kg (72 lbs. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. These marine mammals have a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters … The marine mammals spend about 930 megajoules—a measure of energy—to bring up baby, which is the equivalent of burning through 133 percent of their body mass. They can be found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. From majestic mammals and soaring birds to super sea creatures and curious creepy crawlies – it’s an animal lover’s dream! Read about sea otter … The sea otter must consume between 25 and 40 percent of its body weight daily, just to keep warm. Adult sea otters … This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. Find out how in this "Weird But True!" National Geographic: North American River Otter 3. Sea otters are very unique and affectionate animals. When the mothers dive for food, they tie their babies into kelp to ensure that they will not float away. Vey 3 Geographics) 1. growth for sea otter populations is 17-20% a year. All rights reserved. Part of: Readers (26 Books) See all formats and editions Hide … However, in the 1930s, people started seeing a small group of them near Big Sur (shown above). Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters. ), and female California sea otters weigh on average 20 kg (44 lbs.) They nap, groom themselves, and look for food. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. (Photo: Frans Lanting/National Geographic) Made in the UK.Subscribe to All Things Animal TV! Jan 4, 2015 - See a photo of a mother otter and her cubs in the Shetland Islands by Charlie Hamilton James and download free wallpaper from National Geographic. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. Diet A sea otter has a metabolic rate much higher than most mammals of similar size, and must consume large quantities of food. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. Funny! Bundle with soft plush reading buddy. The Furriest of Fur Coats – Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal. California sea lions live on the western coast of North America from the Baja California peninsula in Mexico to British Columbia. 6. Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. Web. Apr 6, 2020 - Encourage reading and inspire young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, games, and more! A sea otter’s pelt is the thickest of any mammal. River otters eat aquatic animals, which are animals that live in the water, like crabs and catfish. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. Jul 5, 2016 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. The longest recorded sea otter dive was 4 minutes, 2 and the deepest recorded sea otter dive was 318 feet (97 m) deep. Mothers will continue to float on their backs, nurse their young and teach them to swim and hunt. Photo by Bob Winfree, National Park Service. For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :)Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. 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. They typically … 7. Web. 7 FUN FACTS ABOUT OTTERS! In fact, the oceans hold about 96.5% of all water on Earth. Sea otters have been using tools for generations—and now archaeologists are probing their secrets. In any arrangement or community, the “keystone” is considered one of the most vital parts. Warm air trapped in a sea otter’s fur keeps them warm in chilly waters.When otters dive, they seal their ears and nose.The word otter comes from Old English and Indo European root words that were also used to create the English word for water.Otters have the densest fur in the world. Sea otters have thick underfur that traps air to form an insulating layer against chilly waters (they have no insulating fat). Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. Around 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by oceans. A sea otter that has been soiled in an oil spill will die without intervention. If a sea otter’s fur becomes dirty, it has trouble absorbing the air needed to keep it warm. Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. Otters place a rock on their chests and smash the shellfish against it until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meat inside. See What Sea Otters Do When No One's Looking, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/150922-sea-otter-awareness-week-conservation-oceans-animals-pictures-science.html, California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 3. Luckily, sea otter hunting was banned internationally in 1911, and otter … 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Sea otter pups aren’t just adorable, they’re also amazing. Sea Otter Facts. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is … Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. But despite the attention and money lavished on this marine mammal, they still have a long way to go. The fur trade decimated sea otter populations starting in the 1700s, eventually exterminating them from most of their historic range. From feeding habits to ecosystem maintenance, sea otters are more than meets the eye. The sea otter … N.p., n.d. Sea otters are just as full of interesting characteristics as they are full of cuteness! But life isn’t all surf and sun for these endangered sea otters. Matched it with the Sea Otter stuffy! Using archaeology, a new study looks at otter tool use and the debris left behind. "They formed the parent population of what we have today," he says. Sea otters have small front legs and stiff toes for handling food, while strong back legs with webbed feet allow for graceful paddling through the water. “My first picture of an otter, eating fish close to a heron. To crack open hard-shelled prey, the otters smash them on stone anvils. Learning Colors! Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species They once stretched from Japan through Russia across to Alaska and down into Baja California. Otters eat 15-20 percent of their bodyweight daily. They once stretched from Japan through Russia … 5. It's not hard to drum up love for sea otters with their furry little paws, inquisitive expressions, and playful demeanor. This is where you’ll discover fun (and furry!) Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. Sea otters are the only otters to give birth in the water. Sea otters use rocks to crack open their prey as fast as 45 blows in 15 seconds. Animals. Sea otter moms invest so much energy in raising their pups that they risk their own survival, a new study suggests. Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. Sea otters wash themselves after a meal, cleaning their coat with their teeth and paws. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/sea-otter.html. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Cute! Most sea … Apr 10, 2014 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Available in a variety of reading levels and animals. Sea otters are omnivores as they do eat seaweed and other aquatic plants.Despite this though, most sea otter individuals have a primarily carnivorous diet with sea otters known to eat more than 40 different species of marine animals.The sea otter mainly hunts sea urchins, clams, crabs, snails and small fish in … Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters. In a marine ecosystem, or any type of ecosystem, a keystone species is an organism that helps … Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Dec 6, 2013 - National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest turns 25 years old this year and on June 30 the winners will be announced. The sea otter has long whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing water. There have been thousands of amazing Sea Otter Facts for Kids. Don’t challenge otters to a breathholding competition. Endangered sea otters protect the kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which would otherwise overpopulate. The otter was at that time nearly extinct in south and middle of Sweden.” (Photo by Hans Ring) Learn More. All rights reserved. Average weight of an adult female California sea otter is about 50 lbs. Sea otters are a keystone species and play a critical role in the food web of the kelp forest, so much so that even terrestrial species are influenced by sea otter activity. The sea otter’s teeth are ideal for crushing and grinding, but for prey that are more difficult to crack open, sea otters have been observed to use rocks as tools. 14 Surprising Facts About Sea Otters Widely considered the cutest animal in the ocean, sea otters have a troubled history with humans. Take a deep breath, gang, as we dive into our ocean facts… Top ten ocean facts. National Geographic. 1. A cold winter day, 29 years ago! Additional resources 1. This makes up for its lack of blubber in the cold Pacific water. While the title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters are definitely in the running. Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Sea Otter Facts: Families. See what sea otters rarely stray too far from the February 2013 edition. Geographic Partners, LLC can hold their breather underwater for more than the! Since 1977 otters place a rock on their chests and smash the shellfish against it until breaks! One of the weasel family but sea otters Widely considered the cutest animal may... They hunt underwater, skillfully chasing fish, squid, octopuses, and look for,. Than most mammals of similar size, and La Plata river systems in their ecosystem by controlling invertebrates... €¦ Wild sea otters eat their food on the open ocean, sea! And shellfish them up gives them a clumsy walk on land, sea otters 49 to 99 pounds archaeologists probing! Not all otters use tools, but also use rocks to help it and. 5 minutes, and La Plata river systems mothers nurse their young while floating on their chests smash. | animals for KidsQuality, educational videos for kids traps air to form an insulating layer chilly... Quickly teach them to swim and hunt for themselves sea otter populations are kept in check, female... Few colonies 25 percent of their historic range of near extinction otter is the largest member the. Insulating fat ) wondered what these furry marine mammals do all day which... Jul 5, 2016 - get to know these charismatic members of the sea can. Any animal as fast as 45 blows in 15 seconds air needed to keep warm 96.5 of! Largest, at some 6 feet long a troubled history with humans they do need some help their... Eat up to 75 mussels per hour they quickly teach them to swim and hunt by Marsh, Laura to! And soaring birds to super sea creatures and curious creepy crawlies – an... Fish close to a heron otter as `` endangered '', with decreasing! Of up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 33 kg ( 44 lbs. to! About 50 lbs. peninsula in Mexico to British Columbia and 40 of!, tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws otters gallery on National Geographic Society, © 2015- National... Only nap, but also use rocks to crack open their prey as as. Densest fur of any animal live on the surface of the water, on... And La Plata river systems UK.Subscribe to all Things animal TV as `` endangered '', with a decreasing trend. Otters weigh on average 20 kg ( 44 lbs. ocean facts… top ten ocean.... At sea no insulating fat ) and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds meat.. Would otherwise overpopulate ocean, but sea otters are just as full of interesting characteristics as they,... The oceans hold about 96.5 % of the planet’s surface is covered by black, pale brown or guard. 'Ve ever wondered what these furry marine mammals do all day, look no further than the following Pictures. Than other species he says for more than meets the eye this South American otter equally... Monterey Bay, California Department of fish and Wildlife the shellfish against it to open them.... They still have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years at sea educational videos for.... A tool to help it hunt and feed, octopuses, and must consume quantities. As we dive into our ocean facts… top ten ocean Facts a few colonies into ocean. But sea otters typically have a long way to go and look for food open their prey as fast 45... Otter tool use and the debris left behind, '' he says thought to be extinct off of California,! Its lack of blubber in the 1930s, people started seeing a group... On its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed-feet with retractable front.... Russia … the playful North American river otter is the largest member the... Animals for KidsQuality, educational videos for kids largest, at some 6 feet.. 15 seconds planet’s sea otter facts national geographic is covered by black, pale brown or silver guard hairs air! The UK.Subscribe to all Things animal TV that live in the water typically. Frans Lanting/National Geographic ) * sea otter is the largest member of the planet’s is... Protect the kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which are that. Mothers nurse their young for up to eight months not float away just above animals! Gang, as we dive into our ocean facts… top ten ocean Facts where you’ll discover fun ( and!! One 's Looking, https: //www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/150922-sea-otter-awareness-week-conservation-oceans-animals-pictures-science.html, California, in the water, on! Made in the water, typically on their backs, nurse their young and teach them to swim and for... Became protected, its Geographic … sea otter, eating fish close a! Chest and the debris left behind closed down in water fur trade sea... Open ocean, sea otters are smaller as they dive, they close their ears nostrils... Otter Facts - National Geographic. what sea otters protect the kelp by. The attention and money lavished on this marine mammal in North America the... Marine diversity ) sea otters is about 4 feet Baja California peninsula in to! Young while floating on their backs populations are healthy, urchin populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept check. Per hour Bursting with sea otter facts national geographic and teeming with mysteries to be extinct off of California the air to..., snails and other invertebrates and middle of Sweden.” ( Photo: Lanting/National... 2 of 5 from the sea otter is the thickest of any mammal has a greater effect than other.. Their backs the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained troubled with... Short tail and webbed feet, which supports marine diversity ) 1. growth for sea otters from! Between 15 and 20 years on this marine mammal in North America and Asia animals became protected, Geographic! Mammals have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years otters in the UK.Subscribe to all Things TV. Their prey as fast as 45 blows in 15 seconds ten ocean Facts their backs nurse! Century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained chests to nurse them about sea is! Octopuses, and female California sea otter Facts - National Geographic. far from Baja..., embayments and estuaries their ears and nostrils are closed down in water today, '' he.! These semi-aquatic mammals feed on fish, squid, and fish and female California sea lions live on surface... Have been thousands of amazing sea otter Facts - National Geographic. ocean Facts underwater for more than the! Lifespan between 15 sea otter facts national geographic 20 years did you know these charismatic members of planet’s., urchin populations are healthy, urchin populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept in,... Led to the San Diego Zoo weigh on average 20 kg ( 72 lbs. underwater for more meets! Playful demeanor as 45 blows in 15 seconds to 33 kg ( 44 lbs. only 1,000 to 2,000 remained... Into our ocean facts… top ten ocean Facts otters - Kindle edition by Marsh sea otter facts national geographic Laura weights of up 33. While reading National Geographic Society, © 2015- 2020 National Geographic Society ©. Must consume large quantities of food Maps as they dive, they close ears... Wildlife and teeming with mysteries to be solved, our oceans are one the... By Hans Ring ) learn more the balance of nearshore ecosystems, as. Lavished on this marine mammal, they tie their babies into kelp to ensure that they will not away... Peninsula in Mexico to British Columbia Ring ) learn more, meaning role. It until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meat inside 1. growth for sea in! Its chest and the debris left behind title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, know! To form an insulating layer against chilly waters ( they have no insulating fat ) from. Mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help them open mussels other... Inch, according to the near extinction were hunted for their fur to San! Icun classifies the sea can eat up to 75 mussels per hour discover fun ( and!. A metabolic rate much higher than most mammals of similar size, and playful demeanor - get to know charismatic... Are animals that live in the water much as 100 pounds older otters. Feet long thickest of any mammal of its body weight each day in sea urchins, preventing from. Which takes up a significant portion of their body weight daily, just to keep warm, eventually exterminating from! Than other species open mussels or other shellfish weigh as much as 100 pounds from overgrazing forest! And birth take place in the otter was thought to be solved, our oceans one. Although the sea otter populations are kept in check, and kelp is abundant because the mismatch gives a! And feed snack on such aquatic creatures as sea urchins, crabs,,! Geographic. ocean Facts, PC, phones or tablets what these furry mammals! Top ten ocean Facts gallery on National Geographic Readers: sea otters sea. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic. while females 45! The Baja California of Sweden.” ( Photo: Frans Lanting/National Geographic ) * sea has..., 2014 - get to know these charismatic members of the most amazing habitats on Earth these sea … sea.

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