Sea Otters

Enhydra lutris

Description

  • They are mammals.
  • Their body covering is fur.
  • Females weigh about 35-60 pounds.
  • Males weigh about 40-90 pounds.
  • They also have loose skin at their armpits.
(Marine Mammal Center)

Habitat

  • Sea Otters stay at the ocean floor to find food.
  • On the surface of the water, otters are relaxing, grooming, and eating.
  • They are found mostly in Alaska, Washington, British Colombia, and California.
  • They like to be in warm, coastal waters.
  • They prefer the shoreline to deep waters.
(TASSC)

Adaptations

  • They use their paws and their tail to help move through the water.
  • They have the ability to live on land.
  • They could stay warm in cold water.
(Shorecrest)
  • Sea otters also use their eyes, whiskers, and paws to help find food.
  • Their adaptation structure is sound.
(SeaWorld)

Food and Predators

~Food
  • Sea otters enjoy eating urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, and snails.
  • They eat about 25% of their weight everyday.
  • To open the shellfish, otters use small rocks or other objects.
  • Sea otters can dive up to 330 feet just looking for food.
  • Some otters are carnivores and some are omnivores.
(Defenders of Wildlife)
~Predators
  • Great White Sharks are primary predators of the sea otters.
  • Killer whales, stellar sea lions, coyotes, bears, and eagles also eat sea otters.
(Kids Planet)
Sea Otter Using a Rock to Open Clams

Why are Sea Otters Endangered?

  • This endangerment is caused by oil spills.
  • Between 3,500 and 5,500 have been killed because of oil spills.
  • There is a lack of food and more global warming.
(Oracle Think Quest)
  • Sea otters get caught in fishing nets.
  • Hunters have killed sea otters for their fur.
  • They got many viruses and bacterial infections.
(WIRED)

What is Being done?

  • 50% of the funds have gone to the California Fish and Game Department for a higher investigation on sea otters.
(Defenders of Wildlife)
  • People have stopped hunting for sea otter fur.
(WIRED)