The Adorable Sea Otter

July 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

 

I had the pleasure recently to spend some time with some Sea Otters on the west coast. I must say they were so entertaining to watch from my Kayak. The way they played around with each other it reminded me of kids swimming up behind their friends and dunking them under water, and your friends chasing you after. They also are so cute, I was stunned to see how light the fur on their faces is when their fur dries, it’s almost blond. I just sat still there for over an hour they would come up to the Kayak to take a close look at me and after a while they were just floating on their backs like little old men sunning themselves in the water all around me. It was a memorial able day one that I will cherish. I when I first arrived the weather was over cast but a few hours in it cleared up and was beautiful. I was amazed at their size they average 4 feet long and 65 pounds. They have an average lifespan of 10 to 20 years.

The Sea Otter is an aquatic member of the weasel family is found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest. Sea otters have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water. Sea otters often float at the water's surface, lying on their backs in a posture of serene repose. They sleep this way, often gathered in groups. Otters sometimes float in forests of kelp, or giant seaweed, in which they entangle themselves to provide anchorage in the swirling sea.

These aquatic otters do more than sleep while floating on their backs. They are often seen with a clam or mussel and a rock that has been deftly snared from the ocean floor. Otters will place the rock on their chests, and repeatedly smash the shellfish against it until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meal inside. They also dine on such aquatic creatures as sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopuses, and fish.

Sea otters are the only otters to give birth in the water. Mothers nurture their young while floating on their backs. They hold infants on their chests to nurse them, and quickly teach them to swim and hunt.

Sea otters are meticulously clean. After eating, they wash themselves in the ocean, cleaning their coat with their teeth and paws. They have good reason to take care of their coats, it helps them to remain waterproof and insulated against the cold. Sea otters have thick underfur that traps air to form an insulating layer against the chilly waters, they have no insulating fat.


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