In fact, by the 1920s, the sea otter was at the brink of extinction — it was even thought to be extinct for a time. Baby otters, called pups or kittens, stay with their mothers until they’re up to a year old, or until she has another litter. 2. 4. Sea otters are inhabitants of the coastal zone of the Pacific Ocean in Canada, Japan, Russia, the USA, and are among the smallest marine mammals. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters in nearshore ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. 1. Check out this otter-worldly info. Sea otters are the heaviest members of the weasel family, and have adapted to the marine environment in which they live. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. It is 40–65 inches (100–160 cm) long and weighs They have a rich fur for which humans hunted them almost to extinction. So whether you see an otter on land or at sea, be sure to maintain a safe distance of at least 50 yards and never feed sea otters. Under their arms, Sea otters have built in pockets. Sea Otters. FUN FACTS Longest recorded dive : 7 min. Fun Facts The sea otter's dark brown fur is the finest and densest of any animal fur. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Approximately 90 percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. Pictures & Facts On The Iconic Animals Of North America, With FREE Printable Worksheet, Best North American Wildlife Field Guides: Recommended Books On The Wildlife Of North America, Christmas Animals: Animals Associated With Christmas From All Around The World. The video below has some great shots of sea otters. A raft is usually comprised of single-sex sea otters that can range from 10 to a hundred individuals. Today, the population stands at 100 – 150,000 animals, but the IUCN Red List still categorizes sea otters as endangered. 8. It is native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Sea otter is the heaviest and the second smallest aquatic member of weasel family. 4. Even a baby sea otter can stay warm on the open ocean, but they do need some help from their mothers. In maintaining kelp forests, sea otters also help to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. feedback@ios.doi.gov, Stewarding Conservation and Powering Our Future, about 10 Public Lands with Powerful Native American Connections, about Enjoy Your Next E-bike Trip on Public Lands, Toggle Dyslexia-friendly black-on-creme color scheme, Secretarial Schedules (July 2018-July 2019), Approximately 90 percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska, 600,000 to 1,000,000 hair follicles per square inch, Sea otters have been known to stay submerged for more than 5 minutes at a time, sea otters help control the sea urchin population, Ever wonder where otters actually store these tools for safe keeping, Learn more about staying safe around sea otters, 10 Public Lands with Powerful Native American Connections, Enjoy Your Next E-bike Trip on Public Lands, ICYMI: President Trump signs Omnibus Spending and COVID Relief Bill, Uplifting American Families, Investing in American Infrastructure and Enhancing American Conservation, Integrity of Scientific & Scholarly Activities, Policy Library: Departmental Manual, HR, Secretary's Orders, Wildland Fire Management. 7. Active Wild Pinterest Active Wild Facebook. Otters do not have blubber, instead air is trapped within their fur to keep them warm. 3. They live in offshore forests of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), and spend most of their active time foraging below the canopy. They live mainly on land that is very close to bodies of water. Ever wonder where otters actually store these tools for safe keeping? Hunted to the edge of extinction by fur traders in the 18th and 19th centuries, the few remaining sea otters (about 2,000 scattered in remnant colonies throughout the North Pacific rim) were first protected by the International Fur Seal Treaty in 1911. Fun Facts for Kids. Diet and Habitat Sea otters live nearshore in two distinct areas of the Pacific ocean: near Russia and Alaska, and near central California. Some are small river otters, and some are bigger sea otters. If otters fascinate you, below are some interesting otter facts. Sea otters wrap themselves in kelp or hold hands when sleeping to prevent drifting. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Otters have as many as 2.6 million hairs per square inch. The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. Sea otters are a ‘keystone species’ within kelp forests, maintaining the balance in the food web between kelp and sea urchins, allowing the forests to thrive. Sea otters dive to rocky reefs, where they collect invertebrates and also a large rock. They have furry bodies, whiskered faces, and a propensity to lay on their backs and float on the water, a behavior that humans perceive as evidence of fun-loving. Learn more about staying safe around sea otters. There is one species of sea otter and three subspecies, the California or Southern sea otter is found off the central coast of California, the Northern sea otter is found in the waters off Alaska and Canada, and the common or Asian sea otter is found along coastlines of Japan and Russia. Otters have some interesting relatives. 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. There is one species of sea otter and three subspecies, the California or Southern sea otter is found off the central coast of California, the Northern sea otter is found in the waters off Alaska and Canada, and the common or Asian sea otter is found along coastlines of Japan and Russia. They have an interesting method of eating their prey. In California, the weight of a female is 45 lbs and of a male otte… A newborn pup needs constant attention and will stay with its mother for six months until it develops survival skills. Sea otters can often be observed floating on their backs on the surface looking very relaxed and chilled out. Weight of otter depends on their breed. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters in nearshore ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. Get ready for some awesome otter facts and photos. The otter is one of the few mammals that use tools. Most sea otters measure less than 50 inches. 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