Reproduction The Sea Otter's scientific name is Enhydra lutris, which means "otter that lives in the water". They are both fissipeds, “split-footed” members of the order Carnivora, and are more closely related to terrestrial carnivores, like weasels, than seals or … These animals are the smallest of marine animals, and they were once hunted almost to the point of extinction. They typically use rocks and empty shells to feed on marine snails, crabs, sea urchins and mussels. Sea otters, as the name suggests, are marine animals, and they live just off the coasts of the Northern and Eastern Pacific Ocean. Sea otter: Illegal to own under the Marine Animal Protection Act. In fact, this fur is the most abundant among all animals on earth. The air trapped within the thick fur of their coats coupled with an incredible lung capacity (about 2.5 times more than any other mammals of the same size) makes the sea otter very buoyant. Their front paws are used to find prey in the dark murky water, with their whiskers helping them with this task. Based on the sequence data presented here, our results suggest that otters are divided into three primary clades that include: (1) the North American river, neotropical and marine otters; (2) the sea, Eurasian, spotted‐necked, cape clawless and small‐clawed otters; and (3) the giant otter. Students will be able to: • Identify the body parts and behaviors of a sea otter. Inland, they’re found in lowland marshes and swamps, streams and small lakes. Male northern fur seals are up to six times larger than females. Sea otters, as the name suggests, are marine animals, and they live just off the coasts of the Northern and Eastern Pacific Ocean. This stone is used to crack open mollusks. In the wild, river otters make their homes in a variety of habitats, near both marine and fresh water. The southern sea otter was widely believed to be extinct due to the expansive fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, which reduced the global population from between 150,000 and 300,000 to roughly 2,000. Sea otters are foragers that eat mostly hard-shelled invertebrates, including sea urchins and a variety of clams, mussels, and crabs. These animals spend most of the time in the water, but they can move around on the land also. Next, the tail of a sea otter is short and flattened; a river otter’s tail is long and pointed. Besides, the sea otter typically rubs its face with its paws, since the fur on the face helps to keep its paws warm. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Fanshawe and her colleagues found that red abalone were far more abundant at the sites without sea otters than at those with the otters: there were about seven times more of the abalone in the “deep” zones (15.6 vs 2.2 per study plot), and nearly 20 times more in the “shallow” zones (17.5 vs … There are 29 days left for marine otter, do you think I'll be able to get marine otter without cutting it close? The gait of sea otters on land is somewhat clumsy, but river otters can sprint short distances at high speed. Like many land mammals, river otters use their fur coats to keep warm. • Identify the body parts and behaviors of a seal. SEA OTTERS FAST FACTS. In recent years there has been much effort put into returning sea otter populations to previous numbers with conservation programs and re-introduction projects. Sea otters are mainly native to the northeastern seaboards of the Pacific Ocean, so they aren’t spotted in areas like the East Coast or the Gulf of Mexico. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Physical characteristics: Male northern sea otters average 70–100 pounds and 4.5 feet in length, including tail. Sea otters prey on sea urchins, thereby preventing sea urchins from overgrazing the kelp forest. Sea Otters have fully webbed, long, flat hind feet which they use to swim. • Use a Venn diagram to illustrate similarities and differences between the two marine mammals. How much food Otter eat each day? They are occasionally seen along the Straits of Juan de Fuca near Port Angeles, but they rarely venture further inland than that. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. Sea otters dive to rocky reefs, where they collect invertebrates and also a large rock. He’s trying to climb up the pipe!” It was then that the explainer in me wanted to jump in and say, actually, no. We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it. Their muscular tails, which are short and thick, steer them like a rudder when swimming and help with balance on land. River otters need to groom their fur frequently to maintain its water resistance and insulating properties. However, science and conservation-based management decisions began about 60 years ago, and much of the research on sea otters in the United States has occurred since the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Sea otters live in large colonies, but river otters tend to stay in small family groups. River otters in our region, on the other hand, are found all over Washington state and are commonly seen in pond and stream habitats as well as Puget Sound. Adults range in weight from 50-100lbs and grow to 4-5ft from head to tail tip. In the years from about the 1740s and the early 1900s, the population of sea otters plummeted from about 200,000 animals to just about 2000 due to their being extensively hunted and killed for their thick fur. When they are on the surface of the water, sea otters like to float on their backs,  swishing their tails and feet from side to side in order to move about. Also, female sea otters give birth to just one pup at a time—river otters may give birth to several cubs in a litter. Sea otters are strong and seasoned swimmers, and they maneuver themselves with ease in the water, using their feet and tails expertly. The marine otter (Lontra felina) is a rare and relatively unknown South American mammal of the weasel family (Mustelidae). This allows the kelp forest to thrive and contributes to an increase in marine diversity. To facilitate this they have loose skin, and they are flexible and supple so they can reach the fur on all parts of their bodies. Instead, they have very thick fur coats. Otters have some interesting relatives. This species is aptly named because sea otters rarely come on land. A sea otter! Sea otters did not have the thick layer of blubber common to most other marine mammals and needed for insulation against the cold waters. The scientific name means "otter cat", and in Spanish, the marine otter is also often referred to as gato marino: "marine cat". If you have a good story to tell or blog let us know about it on our FB page, we’re also happy for article or review submissions, we’d love to hear from you. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. Sea otters are a marine mammal that live off the coasts of the northern and eastern north pacific ocean. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are the smallest of all marine mammals and are members of the weasel family. Polar bear cub Kaktovik, Alaska. The marine otter is larger than the Eurasian Otter. The otters belong to the weasel family Mustelidae. To keep their thick fur waterproof, they spend hours grooming. Sea otters rest by wrapping themselves in kelp to keep from drifting away. Many people don’t know the difference between sea otters and river otters—but, with a little info, you’ll be able to tell right away. Sea Otters and Polar Bears: Marine Fissipeds. When you come to the Seattle Aquarium, you may be lucky enough to see Molalla “squeegee-ing” the water from his fur against one of the exhibit’s hard surfaces. These are river otters. Here are a few to get you started, plus some basic information about how they fit into the otter pet trade: 1. There are only a handful of non-primate species known to use tools, including dolphins and octopuses. Females give birth to one pup, usually between January and March. The Seattle Aquarium is temporarily closed to the public. I, too, assumed that sea + otter = sea otter. Otter spraints are messy smudges with a distinct, not unpleasant smell, and contain bones and fish scale remains. Sea Otter vs Beaver: Fight Comparison (Beaver vs Otter) If we compare a beaver with an otter, the beaver is largest and has sharp teeth and more mass that will help to attack its opponent. Introducing our playful, always-entertaining river otters, Molalla and Ahanu! If you have any comments then please drop us a message on our Outdoor Revival Facebook page. I just got clan farm a few minutes ago, and I'm waiting for 300 clams so I can get urchin farm. There are 13 types of otter in total, but some are more common than others. This animal is the largest otter species by weight. The sea otter is, however, still an endangered species and their health is constantly monitored. One of these otters is the Sea Otter, which is found in the Pacific Coast of North America. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest. There are other important differences between these two species as well: Northern sea otters are found only in coastal areas, with a range that extends north from the Washington coast, along the outer edge of Vancouver Island, and up to Alaska. But instead, I held back and listened to the conversation, thinking back to ten years ago or so when I first saw river otters in the ocean. The sea otter is known for its unusual "backstroke." They use the rock as a table against which they smash their shelled prey to … Pups stay with their mothers for about six months. River otters live in dens, which they can make themselves in shrubbery or along riverbanks—and they are also happy to take up residence in abandoned beaver, badger, fox or rabbit dwellings. Marine otters are foraging predators that eat a wide variety of prey. Mating, birth, and nursing take pl… The MMPA gave the Department of Interior (DOI) management responsibility for polar bears, walrus, sea otters, manatees and dugongs. 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