california sea otters divide themselves in diet guilds. The population index exceeded 3,090 for the first time in 2016. Sea otters eat about 25% of their weight every day, and is arguably the number one cause in sea otter deaths, when they cannot forage enough food to feed themselves. 2493 Portola Road, Suite B Sea otters have the thickest fur of any marine mammal, averaging 850,000 … Longest dive ever recorded was just under 8 minutes. Sea Otters spend most of their life at sea, but will come ashore in bad weather or to avoid predators. The Southern Sea Otter is found in California. They typically … Sea otters reach maximum lengths of 4.9 feet (1.5 m) and weights of 100 pounds (45 kg). The Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) also goes by the name California Sea Otter and has the distinction of being one the heaviest members of the weasel family, yet one of the smallest marine mammals. The southern river otter (Lontra provocax) is a species of otter that lives in Chile and Argentina.Although called a "river otter", it inhabits both marine and freshwater environments. Sea Otters have a polygynous mating system and show highly significant sexual dimorphism. The translocation program allowed the reintroduction of sea otters to San Nicolas Island but also required the removal of sea otters from a âno-otterâ management zone. 4. A very small relocated population resides in Southern California at San Nicolas Island of the Channel Islands. It sometimes is considered a subspecies of Lontra canadensis. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sea otters are quite large, weighing up to 100 pounds (45 kg) and reaching lengths of nearly 5 feet (1.5 m). As a result, their energetic requirements are high, and they consume an amount of food equivalent to about 25 percent of their body mass per day. In Russia, the count has come down to 15,000 and only a few dozens are left in Japan. Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) images and facts - this gallery boasts a stunning display of stock photos showing the unique character of the southern sea otter in countless different positions. There is, additionally, a small colony near San Nicolas Island off Santa Barbara. Download for your device. Southern Sea Otter Enhydra lutris nereis : Fun Facts • Sea otters do not have blubber to keep warm, instead they have very dense fur (up to one million hairs per square inch). iStock Once thought to be gone from the area completely, southern sea otters—known as California sea otters—have been making a … They have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water. Reduced range and population size, vulnerability to oil spills, and oil spill risk from coastal tanker traffic were the primary reasons for listing. Although they hunt on the sea floor, they return to the surface to eat. Did you know sea otters have built in pouches of loose skin under their forearms to stash extra prey when diving? The sea otter can live its entire life without leaving the water. Pup rearing and provisioning impose high energetic costs on females, requiring them to increase foraging effort during this period and leaving them highly susceptible to stressors they may encounter when they come into estrous after weaning, such as infections and aggression by males. They also feast on critters of the ocean like sea urchins, crabs, squid, octopuses, and tiny or puny fish. Contamination of their fur by oily substances can destroy its insulating properties and lead to hypothermia and death. 5. On an adult animal, there are an estimated 650,000 hairs per square inch. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Food preferences vary among individuals. Sea otter pup fur is known as a lanugo. The animals that they prey on devour kelp forests. OCEANWALKERS Sea Otters live in coastal waters & estuaries. Sea Otter Facts Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal. Mothers nurse their young for up to eight months. Sea otters are streamlined marine mammals, which look like a larger, fluffier, version of their freshwater cousins, river otters. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters resting together is called a raft. Deepest dive recorded is 264 feet. Although called a "river otter", it inhabits both marine and freshwater environments. Sea otters are related to skunks and weasels. The southern sea otter (the species found at SeaWorld San Diego) is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. As a keystone species, the southern sea otters play a critical role in keeping the California kelp forest ecosystem healthy. Today, southern sea otters live along the central coast of California; northern sea otters live along the coasts of Washington, Canada, and Alaska. By the year 2009 the southern sea otters at the coast of California were approximately 2,800, in Alaska, Washington and Canada, and the northern sea otters were between 64,600 to 77,300. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. Sea otter pups. Average dive duration for California sea otters is about 60 seconds. Sea otter moms typically nurse and care for their pups for about 6 months before weaning them. The sea otter can live its entire life without leaving the water. Usually, a single baby (called a pup) is produced following 4 to 5 months of pregnancy. Southern sea otter consumes many types of prey including sea urchins, snails, clams, abalone, mussels, crabs, scallops, fish, barnacles, octopus, worms, and squid, which it captures with its clawed paws, not its jaws. Sea otters eat sea urchins & other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp. California Sea Otters live among the protected shallow coastal waters between Half Moon Bay and Santa Barbara with a small colony on San Nicolas Island. Sea otters naturally thrive in nearshore habitats. White shark bites are now the leading cause of sea otter mortality in California. Southern Sea Otter Enhydra lutris nereis : Fun Facts • Sea otters do not have blubber to keep warm, instead they have very dense fur (up to one million hairs per square inch). Keystone species are organisms that have large-scale community effects disproportionate to their abundance. Images of them eating, swimming, and even interacting with humans can be found here. By RickWood | Updated: Dec. 5, 2015, 10:09 p.m. Loading... Slideshow Movie. Otters have some interesting relatives. Southern Sea Otter. Otters use tools like rocks and sometimes soda cans. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. What's cuter than two furry sea otters? For southern sea otters to be considered for delisting under the Endangered Species Act, the population index would have to exceed 3,090 for three consecutive years, according to the Southern Sea Otter Recovery Plan. They are mostly found in temperate or cold coastal waters with plentiful forests of giant kelp beds. Sea otters spend approximately 9 to 12 hours foraging each day. Therefore, sea otters are crucial to maintaining kelp forest levels, which provide cover and food for many marine animals. Hunting for food is one of the most important daily activities for the sea otter. Sea Otters live in the coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean in North American and Asia. Sea otters have a profound impact on the coastal habitats which is why they are rightly known as keystone species. Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. For one of the smallest marine mammals on Earth (yet the largest member of the weasel family), the sea otter has racked up quite a few superlatives: 10. No sea otters, no kelp forests. How Do Sea Otters Eat? The existence of sea otter is helping the ecosystem to be balance. The sea otter's dark brown fur is the finest and densest of any animal fur. Fun Facts . A quick glance at facts about California's southern sea otter population.-- Created using PowToon -- Free sign up at http://www.powtoon.com/ -- Create animated… Nope. They can have over 1,000,000 hairs per square inch on their bodies! Reduced range and population size, vulnerability to oil spills, and oil spill risk from coastal tanker traffic were the primary reasons for listing. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. Large percentage of southern sea otter mortality is due to infectious diseases, many of which are known to have anthropogenic causes. There are approximately 3,200 along the central California coast today, ranging from San Mateo County south to Santa Barbara County and San Nicolas Island. Sea Otter: The Animal’s Predator and Prey . Seagrasses also provide important benefits, such as nursery habitat for many other species, shoreline protection, and carbon sequestration. Its fur is the densest of any animal on Earth—an estimated 1 million hairs per square inch. A sea otter's diet consists mainly of slow-moving fishes and marine invertebrates including crabs, sea urchins, abalones, clams, mussels, and snails. Learn more about these cute and charismatic critters. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. The very recent (2015-2016) increase in sea otter numbers in the center of the range may be due to an increase in sea urchin abundance resulting in part from the near-total loss of sea stars, an important predator of sea urchins, from the Pacific coast due to wasting disease. The Southern Sea Otter & Southwest Stock of Northern Sea Otters in Alaska are both listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. If you come across a sea otter you think is sick, injured or abandoned, please give it space and call The Marine Mammal Center’s stranding hotline at (415) 289-7325. Ivy (left) is our youngest otter at about four years old, while Kit (right) is about six years old and one of our biggest otters at roughly 50 pounds. There are three subspecies: the northern (Alaska) sea otter Enhydralutris kenyoni; the Asian sea otter E. l. lutris; and the southern sea otter E. l. neresis. Diet Sea otters eat fish and marine invertebrates like crabs, urchins, sea stars , … Is there a pupping season? Both mating and birth take place in the water, and males have harems of several females. 3. The southern river otter (Lontra provocax) is a species of otter that lives in Chile and Argentina. Average weight of an adult female California sea otter is about 50 lbs. Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. A high number population of sea urchin can be reduce and reach its normal number of population because sea otter feeds on it. Males can weigh up to 70 lbs. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters do not have a thick layer of blubber and rely upon their water-resistant fur for insulation. On average, an adult male California sea otter consumes over 4,000 calories daily. Sea otters eat many kinds of invertebrates, including sea urchins, abalone, clams, crabs, snails, sea stars, squid & octopuses. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species Southern sea otters are among the smallest of marine mammals, with adult females and males averaging 46 and 64 pounds, respectively. The southern sea otter, one of 13 different species of river and sea otters worldwide, ranges from Año Nuevo, north of Santa Cruz, to Purisima Point, north of Point Conception. A much larger population exists in Alaska (more than 70,000 individuals), and a sizeable population (estimated at more than 25,000 sea otters) exists in Russia. Cool Facts. Because of its smart brain, sea otter uses its hand and take a rock to dislodge the invertebrate animal from its shell before the sea otter eats it. As a consequence of their threatened status, southern sea otters are also recognized as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Otters do not have blubber, instead air is trapped within their fur to keep them warm. Adult sea otters can eat 25% - 30% of their body weight in one day! Adult southern sea otters are approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) in length. The life of a southern sea otter Sea otters spend most of their time near the shore. The current range extends along the California coast from Half Moon Bay in the north to Santa Barbara in the south, though individuals are occasionally seen outside these limits. Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months. A newborn southern sea otter pup is a buff color, 22 to 24 inches (55 – 60 cm) in length and 4 to 5 lbs. Two or more otter species occupying the same geographical area usually have different food habits. The primary factors limiting population growth and range expansion of southern sea otters in recent years have been density-dependent resource limitation (where the number of sea otters is in equilibrium with available prey) in much of the central portion of the mainland range and white shark attacks in the northern and southern portions of the mainland range. Sea otters are generally considered to be a keystone species in these communities. Sign up for free. 3. Predators and Prey of the Sea Otter The sea otter's diet includes about 40 marine species, including urchins, crabs, clams, abalones, mussels, and snails. The Northern Sea Otter is found in Washington, Canad a, and Alaska. There daily life usually consists of clams and mussels to eat and rock finding. Hopefully not stinky skunks!!! They can use a rock to dislodge mollusks and urchins from the rocks where they are attached. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. They are mostly found in temperate or cold coastal waters with plentiful forests of giant kelp beds. Average dive depth for California sea otters is about 20 feet. Hopefully not stinky skunks!!! Sea otters obtain their food by diving. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. Kelp forests provide numerous direct and indirect benefits, including habitat for hundreds of invertebrate and fish species, reductions in coastal erosion, and carbon storage that can moderate climate change. The southern sea otter measures up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in length; females weigh up to 50 pounds (23 kg) and males up to 70 pounds (32 kg). Fun Facts. Tune into our LIVE Sea Otter Cam for your daily dose of sea otter cuteness. 4. Shallow water no more than 100 feet deep is the otter’s preferred habitat, because it means less time spent diving for food. These marine mammals have a number of characteristics that make them perfectly suited for life at sea. See more ideas about otter love, otters, sea otter. The sea otter is a generalist predator, known to consume more than 150 different prey species. Sea otter counts are conducted annually by the U.S. Geological Survey. Therefore, sea otters are crucial to maintaining kelp forest levels, which provide cover and food for many marine animals. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard h… Can otters use tools? Most Sea Otter "raft" in kelp beds with other otters. It sometimes is considered a subspecies of Lontra canadensis.The southern river otter is listed as endangered, due to illegal hunting, water pollution, and habitat loss In Thailand, the ranges of at least three otter species overlap. Description. In particular, they play a vital role in preserving the kelp forests. These stressors include biotoxins produced during harmful algal or cyanobacterial blooms, disease-causing pathogens such as the protozoal parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona, and acanthocephalan parasites. The latest census and stranding information is available at www.werc.usgs.gov/seaottercount. Want to watch cute sea otters romp, wrestle and play every day of the year? Back to the top. Southern Sea Otter Facts Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris, or Enhydra lutris nereis Physical Characteristics: 4 feet long, approximately 65 pounds, males - 45 pounds, females Strong canine teeth for tearing food, flat molars for crushing External ears like a sea lion's with excellent hearing capability 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. Both are named after characters in John Steinbeck novels. Fact2: Weighing between 30 and 100 pounds, the sea otter is the world’s smallest species of marine mammal. Southern sea otters wallpaper. It must eat 20% to 25% of its body weight every day to maintain normal body temperature, so it will spend much of the day foraging. Sea Otter Sea otters are part of the weasel family. Education. Sea Otters give birth throughout the year, there is three factors that may effect when the female gives birth those are: the weather, amount of food available, and the location. A Sea Otter's Diet Sea otters eat a wide variety of prey, including marine invertebrates such as echinoderms (sea stars and sea urchins), crustaceans (e.g., crabs), cephalopods (e.g., squid), bivalves (clams, mussels, abalone), gastropods (snails), and chitons. Humans have 100,000 pieces in total on their head, while otters have up to one million hairs per square inch. Cool Facts. Fun Facts for Kids. Humans have 100,000 pieces in total on their head, while otters have up to one million hairs per square inch. Fact1: Sea otters have incredibly fast metabolisms; a 60-pound adult sea otter eats at least 15 pounds of food (25% of its body weight) each and every day. Before the fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters ranged along the North Pacific Rim from Hokkaido, Japan to Baja California, Mexico. 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