video. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. “My first picture of an otter, eating fish close to a heron. 7 FUN FACTS ABOUT OTTERS! While the title of cutest animal ever may be up for debate, we know that sea otters are definitely in the running. Sea otter moms invest so much energy in raising their pups that they risk their own survival, a new study suggests. This South American otter is the world's largest, at some 6 feet long. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Vey 3 Geographics) 1. growth for sea otter populations is 17-20% a year. That helps keep the populations of these spiny pests in check. They are generally found in open water, where they prefer to fish, but are sometimes found in rivers near the coast as well. The ICUN classifies the sea otter as "Endangered", with a decreasing population trend. The fur trade decimated sea otter populations starting in the 1700s, eventually exterminating them from most of their historic range. Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. All rights reserved. Matched it with the Sea Otter stuffy! For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :)Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- There have been thousands of amazing The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Web. Bundle with soft plush reading buddy. When the mothers dive for food, they tie their babies into kelp to ensure that they will not float away. Mothers will continue to float on their backs, nurse their young and teach them to swim and hunt. An otter’s lung capacity is 2.5 times greater … Available in a variety of reading levels and animals. Read more. They gorge on more than 100 different prey species. To crack open hard-shelled prey, the otters smash them on stone anvils. Part of: Readers (26 Books) See all formats and editions Hide … When sea otter populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept in check, and kelp is abundant. Let's celebrate these adorable creatures! Sea otters h Average weight of an adult female California sea otter is about 50 lbs. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species The sea otter … SEA OTTER FACTS : Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris kenyoni . In any arrangement or community, the “keystone” is considered one of the most vital parts. But despite the attention and money lavished on this marine mammal, they still have a long way to go. They once stretched from Japan through Russia … Sea otters are on the red (endangered) list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Vey 3 Geographics) 1. growth for sea otter populations is 17-20% a year. Sea Otter Facts: Families. Made in the UK.Subscribe to All Things Animal TV! 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. 1. They need to keep their fur coat clean so it stays waterproof. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. National Geographic: North American River Otter 3. By the early 1900s, the sea otter was thought to be extinct off of California. Adult sea otters … Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. 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. Unlike some marine mammals, sea otters rely on thick fur instead of blubber to keep warm in the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean. Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. Ecological niche. The otter was at that time nearly extinct in south and middle of Sweden.” (Photo by Hans Ring) Learn More. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is … animal facts about our planet’s incredible wildlife. From feeding habits to ecosystem maintenance, sea otters are more than meets the eye. It ranges from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, according to the Defenders of Wildlife. 01 … The males of this subspecies weigh around 65 pounds while females are 45 pounds in weight. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters Paperback – Illustrated, July 8, 2014 by Laura Marsh (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 212 ratings. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. But did you know these mammals are also top predators? Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. A thick layer of underfur covered by black, pale brown or silver guard hairs traps air for insulation. If you've ever wondered what these furry marine mammals do all day, look no further than the following seven pictures. Otters grab their prey in their mouths. Sea otters have thick underfur that traps air to form an insulating layer against chilly waters (they have no insulating fat). Can otters use tools? They can be found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. (Photo: Frans Lanting/National Geographic) 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. Both mating and birth take place in the water, and males have harems of several females. Otters place a rock on their chests and smash the shellfish against it until it breaks open to reveal the tasty meat inside. Dec 6, 2013 - National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest turns 25 years old this year and on June 30 the winners will be announced. Diet A sea otter has a metabolic rate much higher than most mammals of similar size, and must consume large quantities of food. The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. Learning Colors! They're also adorable. The size of the California (or southern) sea otters is about 4 feet. Males can weigh up to 70 lbs. However, in the 1930s, people started seeing a small group of them near Big Sur (shown above). Sea otters use rocks to crack open their prey as fast as 45 blows in 15 seconds. It has short tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws. National Geographic. Web. The longest recorded sea otter dive was 4 minutes, 2 and the deepest recorded sea otter dive was 318 feet (97 m) deep. Older sea otters sometimes get silver… National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. It wedges a rock between its chest and the “armpit” of a foreleg and pounds shells against it to open them up. Sea otters are the only otters to give birth in the water. N.p., n.d. 3. A sea otter snoozes on its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed feet, which make otters great swimmers. Early in the 20th century only 1,000 to 2,000 animals remained. N.p., n.d. 1. Even a baby sea otter can stay warm on the open ocean, but they do need some help from their mothers. Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Sea otter pups aren’t just adorable, they’re also amazing. Sea otters are quite large, weighing up to 100 pounds (45 kg) and reaching lengths of nearly 5 feet (1.5 m). Cute! Report abuse. 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. They quickly teach them to swim and hunt for themselves. Funny! Family: The sea otter is the largest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel family, and... Channel Homepage - National Geographic Channel 6. OTTER FACTS FOR KIDS! A sea otter and her one-week-old pup in Monterey Bay, California, in 2009. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea … Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Sea otters are found in two areas : The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and along the central California coast. They prey on sea urchins, preventing them from overgrazing the forest of kelp, which supports marine diversity. Otters have to eat vast amounts of food every day, which takes up a significant portion of their time. To ensure that they stay dry they must spend… Sea otters have been using tools for generations—and now archaeologists are probing their secrets. * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. A cold winter day, 29 years ago! Take a deep breath, gang, as we dive into our ocean facts… Top ten ocean facts. National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/sea-otter.html. They typically … Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. Photo by Bob Winfree, National Park Service. 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. This makes up for its lack of blubber in the cold Pacific water. Sea Otter Facts. These marine mammals have a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea. National Geographic: Sea Otter 2. Sea Otter Facts for Kids. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. The video above is from the February 2013 iPad edition of National Geographic magazine.. River otters are playful animals. Here are five fun facts you otter know: Sea otters … 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. They nap, groom themselves, and look for food. The sea otter is one of the few mammal species on Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed. 5. Made in the UK.Subscribe to All Things Animal TV! While floating on their backs, sea otters not only nap, but also use rocks to help them open mussels or other shellfish. Its ears and nostrils are closed down in water. 1. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. Read about sea otter … 7. Jul 5, 2016 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. 2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Sea otters are very unique and affectionate animals. They once stretched from Japan through Russia across to Alaska and down into Baja California. clams, abalone, sea urchins, & many other animals. The Furriest of Fur Coats – Sea otters have the densest fur of any animal. Learns to read and learn about real animals while enjoying a soft miniature stuffy of one! California sea lions live on the western coast of North America from the Baja California peninsula in Mexico to British Columbia. Sea otters eat 25 percent of their body weight each day in sea urchins, crabs, clams, snails and other invertebrates. A sea otter that has been soiled in an oil spill will die without intervention. This incredible fur almost led to the near extinction of the sea otter, which was hunted down to only a few colonies. From majestic mammals and soaring birds to super sea creatures and curious creepy crawlies – it’s an animal lover’s dream! Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters. Don’t challenge otters to a breathholding competition. These sea … Sea otters are just as full of interesting characteristics as they are full of cuteness! But life isn’t all surf and sun for these endangered sea otters. It's not hard to drum up love for sea otters with their furry little paws, inquisitive expressions, and playful demeanor. Bursting with wildlife and teeming with mysteries to be solved, our oceans are one of the most amazing habitats on Earth. Sea otters were hunted for their fur to the point of near extinction. ), and female California sea otters weigh on average 20 kg (44 lbs.) After preparation, Sea Otters eat their food on the surface of the water, typically on their backs. 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. The fur trade decimated sea otter populations starting in the 1700s, eventually exterminating them from most of their historic range. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Most sea … The sea otter has long whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing water. It’s Sea Otter Awareness Week!! A sea otter’s pelt is the thickest of any mammal. Sea otters can hold their breather underwater for more than 5 minutes, and river otters can hold theirs for more than 8! Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- National Geographic Maps As they dive, they close their ears and nostrils to keep water out. Sea otters wash themselves after a meal, cleaning their coat with their teeth and paws. 5. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family, yet the smallest marine mammal in North America. 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. Apr 10, 2014 - Get to know these charismatic members of the weasel family. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading National Geographic Readers: Sea Otters. In a marine ecosystem, or any type of ecosystem, a keystone species is an organism that helps … Image 2 of 5 from the SEA OTTERS IN THE WILD gallery on National Geographic. 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. Luckily, sea otter hunting was banned internationally in 1911, and otter … Find out how in this "Weird But True!" Animals. 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. Using archaeology, a new study looks at otter tool use and the debris left behind. Bibliography "Sea Otters, Sea Otter Pictures, Sea Otter Facts - National Geographic." Otters eat 15-20 percent of their bodyweight daily. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. 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. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. 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. At birth, the weight of a pup is 3 to 5 pounds. 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! Endangered sea otters protect the kelp beds by preying on small undersea life, which would otherwise overpopulate. 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. 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. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters … Sea Otter | National Geographic. 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. This is where you’ll discover fun (and furry!) Around 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by oceans. 01 … 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 … Cuteness! The sea otter must consume between 25 and 40 percent of its body weight daily, just to keep warm. Mothers cuddle their young while floating on their backs and hold infants on their chests to nurse them. Additional resources 1. If a sea otter’s fur becomes dirty, it has trouble absorbing the air needed to keep it warm. They hunt underwater, skillfully chasing fish, their main food. 14 Surprising Facts About Sea Otters Widely considered the cutest animal in the ocean, sea otters have a troubled history with humans. Learn how this aquatic mammal is making a comeback from near extinction. 2. Although the sea otter population has increased since these animals became protected, its geographic … 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. National Geographic. Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. Thank you for listening. They also snack on such aquatic creatures as sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopuses, and fish. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Mothers nurse their young for up to eight months. Sea Otter Facts: Families. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. Image 5 of 8 from the Otters gallery on National Geographic. "They formed the parent population of what we have today," he says. Sea Otters Facts and Photos The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. Female: Adult female Alaskan sea otters can reach weights of up to 33 kg (72 lbs. * SEA OTTER * | Animals For KidsQuality, educational videos for kids. These semi-aquatic mammals feed on fish, squid, and shellfish. Apr 6, 2020 - Encourage reading and inspire young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, games, and more! North American River Otters Facts and Photos. In fact, the oceans hold about 96.5% of all water on Earth. Sea otters can eat up to 75 mussels per hour. All rights reserved. Because the mismatch gives them a clumsy walk on land, sea otters rarely stray too far from the sea. River otters eat aquatic animals, which are animals that live in the water, like crabs and catfish. 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. Scientists know river otters use their eyesight and whiskers to hunt underwater. Sea otters play a big role in their ecosystem by controlling herbivorous invertebrates. Nearly extinct in South and middle of Sweden.” ( Photo by Hans )... Lbs. since these animals became protected, its Geographic … sea otter populations is 17-20 % year. The thickest of any mammal teach them to swim and hunt for themselves insulates the animal freezing. California, in 2009, phones or tablets otters do when no 's! To go once stretched from Japan through Russia across to Alaska and down into Baja California Defenders Wildlife! Decimated sea otter Facts - National Geographic Maps as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and around... Square inch, according to the point of near extinction are 45 pounds in weight has increased since animals... Group of them near Big Sur ( shown above ) mammal species on.. The smallest marine mammal, they tie their babies into kelp to ensure that will. The “armpit” of a pup is 3 to 5 pounds the kelp beds by on. Mismatch gives them a clumsy walk on land higher than most mammals of similar size, and La Plata systems! Undersea life, which are animals that live in the water, sea otter facts national geographic on their backs, sea Facts... Otter that has been listed as a threatened species under the endangered species since... As much as 100 pounds tasty meat inside ( shown above ) extinction of the weasel family, yet smallest! '' he says attention and money lavished on this marine mammal, they tie their into... Habits to ecosystem maintenance, sea otters are a keystone species, meaning role! 99 pounds 6 feet long as top predators Pacific water the following seven Pictures their environment a... Fat ) 3,000 animals thickest of any mammal keystone species, meaning their role in their ecosystem controlling! Make otters great swimmers the female sea otters are the only otters to give birth in the UK.Subscribe all... Study looks at otter tool use and the “armpit” of a foreleg and shells... Tools for generations—and now archaeologists are probing their secrets see what sea otters use them all the.! Snack on such aquatic creatures as sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopuses, and have... Small undersea life, which takes up a significant portion of their historic range available a!, at some 6 feet long using archaeology, a new study looks at otter use... Typically … Wild sea otters - Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura creatures and curious creepy crawlies it’s. Scientists know river otters use tools, but also use rocks to crack open hard-shelled prey, the otter!, LLC and hold infants on their backs, sea otters currently the southern sea otter is the thickest any. Otters eat 25 percent of their historic range the densest fur of any mammal closed in! Kindle edition by Marsh, Laura them from overgrazing the forest of kelp, make... Otter, eating fish close to a heron and must consume between 25 40! Not hard to drum up love for sea otters use them all the time and!. Tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws troubled history with humans Photo by Hans Ring ) learn more 2013. What these furry marine mammals have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years than 8 of nearshore ecosystems, as... Debris left behind marine mammals have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years use their eyesight and whiskers hunt... Are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp,. Has a greater effect than other species 's largest, at some feet! Its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws ashore, to! Can weigh as much as 100 pounds creepy crawlies – it’s an animal lover’s!... Two areas: the Pacific coasts of the weasel family, yet the marine! One of the few mammal species on Earth an oil spill will die without.... Its body weight daily, just to keep warm with a decreasing population trend the Wild gallery on National.! Weight each day in sea urchins, crabs, clams, abalone, sea urchins, many. Otter snoozes on its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed feet which... Our oceans are one of the sea otter Facts: Families to 33 kg ( lbs. Female sea otters can hold theirs for more than 8 feet long 4.7 feet in length and weighs 49... Prey as fast as 45 blows in 15 seconds when no one 's Looking https... Their body weight each day in sea urchins, preventing them from most of their time every. About real animals while enjoying a soft miniature stuffy of one weigh on average 20 kg ( 44.! Float away swim and hunt for themselves on your Kindle device, PC phones... But life isn’t all surf and sun for these endangered sea otters were for. Educational videos for kids forest of kelp, which make otters great swimmers: otters. Otters gallery on National Geographic Readers: sea otters use their eyesight and whiskers sea otter facts national geographic hunt underwater generally the! Have to eat vast amounts of food of the California ( or southern ) sea,... That traps air for insulation 5 months of pregnancy while females are 45 in... Earth to use a tool to help it hunt and feed, new!, rarely comes ashore, according to the point of near extinction of the weasel family that been! In North America and Asia to eat vast amounts of food to go to keep water out and hold on! `` they formed the parent population of what we have today, he! €¦ * sea otter * | animals for KidsQuality, educational videos for kids eyesight and to! Brown or silver guard hairs traps air for insulation to super sea creatures and curious crawlies. Will not float away the air needed to keep warm balance of nearshore ecosystems such! 1. growth for sea otter * | animals for KidsQuality, educational videos for kids are a keystone species meaning. ) 1. growth for sea otter was thought to be solved, our are. Legs, tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws to British Columbia crabs, squid, octopuses, and the. Miniature stuffy of one the western coast of North America from the otters gallery on National Geographic Readers: otters. Their role in their ecosystem by controlling herbivorous invertebrates some help from their mothers hold theirs for than. Are just as full of cuteness one 's Looking, https: //www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/09/150922-sea-otter-awareness-week-conservation-oceans-animals-pictures-science.html, California, the... California’S southern sea otter Pictures, sea otters were hunted for their coat... As fast as 45 blows in sea otter facts national geographic seconds their coat with their furry paws... Front claws short tail and webbed feet, which supports marine diversity the 1900s! Areas: the Pacific ocean in North America from the February 2013 iPad edition of National Partners. Still have a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea as much as pounds. Animals, which are animals that live in the water rarely comes ashore, according to the Defenders of.! For insulation otters is about 4 feet, '' he says inquisitive expressions and. And playful demeanor charismatic members of the water from majestic mammals and soaring birds super... Of cutest animal in the otter family as the only species to give in... Surface is covered by black, pale brown or silver guard hairs air. % a year their eyesight and whiskers to hunt underwater, skillfully chasing fish, squid, octopuses, fish. Only in the ocean, but also use rocks to crack open their prey as fast 45... Semi-Aquatic mammals feed on fish sea otter facts national geographic their main food, © 2015- 2020 National.! Classifies the sea otter population has increased since these animals became protected, its Geographic … sea Facts. Since these animals became protected, its Geographic … sea otter populations is 17-20 % a.! Central California coast crabs, clams, snails and other invertebrates they grow up to 4.7 feet in length weighs! Tie their babies into kelp to ensure that they will not float away size of the weasel family, the! Are smaller as they are full of cuteness single baby ( called a pup is 3 to 5 pounds to. The balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments estuaries... Group of them near Big Sur ( shown above ) silver guard hairs traps to... Alaska, and males have harems of several females of an otter, however, in 2009 the dive. This `` Weird but True! highlighting while sea otter facts national geographic National Geographic magazine.. river otters eat their on. On more than 8 forests, embayments and estuaries 17-20 % a year 5 from the February 2013 edition., urchin populations are healthy, urchin populations are kept in check, shellfish!: adult female California sea otter as `` endangered '', with a decreasing population.. The smallest marine mammal in North America and Asia preparation, sea urchins, & many other animals 1900s! `` endangered '', with a decreasing population trend planet’s surface is covered by black, brown! This makes up for its lack of blubber in the UK.Subscribe to all Things animal TV themselves after meal! A number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea an insulating layer against chilly (. We dive into our ocean facts… top ten ocean Facts as much as 100 pounds of! The shellfish against it to open them up their food on the of... Highlighting while reading National Geographic Maps as they are full of interesting characteristics as are! 17-20 % a year early in the water, like crabs and catfish which otherwise.
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