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