The Life of An Otter

Sea Otters, By: Mylana Byrd

Overview

Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris kenyoni


KINGDOM:

Animalia


PHYLUM:

Chordata


CLASS:

Mammalia


ORDER:

Carnivora


FAMILY:

Mustelidae


GENUS SPECIES:

Enhydra lutris


· In the weasel family, Mustelidae

· Live near the shore waters in the North Pacific: Japan, north coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Alaska, and Baja, California

· Metabolic rate is much higher then most mammals of similar size

· Consume large quantities of food, as much as 9 kg of food each day!

· Sea urchins, crabs, abalone, clams, mussels, octopus, and fishes

· Sleep, rest, and swim all day

· Float in groups from 10 to 100, usually separated by females and males

· Only eat while floating

· Find food at ocean floor

· Ocean surface to have social interactions

· Webbed hind feet are perfect for swimming

· Retractable claws on a sea otter’s front paws allow the sea otter to grab food

FUN FACTS

Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. Today, 100,000 to 150,000 sea otters are protected by law.

More Information:

o Smallest marine animal

o Have round heads, small eyes, and visible ears

o 5 feet in length and weigh up to 70 lb.

o Groom, rest, and nurse their young while floating

o Gives birth on land or in water to babies, called pups

o Usually give birth to one pup a year

o Wrap them selves in kelp bead when resting

o Predators: humans, sharks, bears, eagles, and killer whales

o Escape by fleeing, taking refuge in the kelp where they live, and coming up on land