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sea otter facts national geographic

//sea otter facts national geographic

This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. This incredible fur almost led to the near extinction of the sea otter, which was hunted down to only a few colonies. Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. Sea otters can eat up to 75 mussels per hour. In fact, the oceans hold about 96.5% of all water on Earth. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. They're also adorable. They gorge on more than 100 different prey species. Cuteness! © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- 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. OTTER FACTS FOR KIDS! The size of the California (or southern) sea otters is about 4 feet. It's not hard to drum up love for sea otters with their furry little paws, inquisitive expressions, and playful demeanor. Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. 5. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Sea otters have been using tools for generations—and now archaeologists are probing their secrets. 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. The sea otter … Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Jul 5, 2016 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. A sea otter that has been soiled in an oil spill will die without intervention. 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. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Sea otters can hold their breather underwater for more than 5 minutes, and river otters can hold theirs for more than 8! Sea otters are on the red (endangered) list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Photo by Bob Winfree, National Park Service. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. The ICUN classifies the sea otter as "Endangered", with a decreasing population trend. Endangered sea otters protect the kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which would otherwise overpopulate. Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. They once stretched from Japan through Russia … Sea otters are very unique and affectionate 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. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. A thick layer of underfur covered by black, pale brown or silver guard hairs traps air for insulation. These semi-aquatic mammals feed on fish, squid, and shellfish. They can be found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. “My first picture of an otter, eating fish close to a heron. Matched it with the Sea Otter stuffy! Dec 6, 2013 - National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest turns 25 years old this year and on June 30 the winners will be announced. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. 7. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. Its ears and nostrils are closed down in water. 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. While the title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters are definitely in the running. Sea otters have thick underfur that traps air to form an insulating layer against chilly waters (they have no insulating fat). 2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. Males can weigh up to 70 lbs. But despite the attention and money lavished on this marine mammal, they still have a long way to go. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. Otters have to eat vast amounts of food every day, which takes up a significant portion of their time. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. This makes up for its lack of blubber in the cold Pacific water. 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. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- While floating on their backs, sea otters not only nap, but also use rocks to help them open mussels or other shellfish. 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2021-01-10T20:45:40-08:00 Uncategorized|