Most travel is aquatic, but river otters can venture swiftly overland between bodies of water. Its fur is the densest of any animal on Earth—an estimated 1 million hairs per square inch. Sea otters can live up to 23 years in the wild. Feeding times are subject to change, and narrated feedings are canceled. North American river otter – This species is found throughout much of Canada and parts of the United States. Because they are so well insulated, sea otters do not require a layer of blubber for survival like other marine mammals do. They all eat fish, clams, lobsters and small animals occurring along the shore. Every day. These furry marine mammals are one of only a few marine animals known to use tools to obtain their food. In natural conditions, sea otters live 8-11 years, in captivity – about 20 years. Ninety percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. Th… Did you know you can symbolically adopt your favorite otter? LIVE Sea Otter Cam. Usually near shore. In Alaska, they range from Southeast Alaska, through Prince William Sound, the Kenai Fjords, and the Aleutian Islands. Animal Adoptions make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, graduations, celebrations, for the animal lover in your life and just because you care. It prohibits commercial harvest of sea otters, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters for subsistence and creation of handicrafts. Two otter species are strictly marine: the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) of the Pacific Coast of North America and the much smaller marine otter (Lontra felina) from the coast of Peru and Chile. The range of the Russian or Asian sea otter extends from northern Hokkaido, Japan to the Commander Islands in the western North Pacific. The kelp acts as an anchor that the sea otters use to wrap themselves in when they are resting. However, most mortality results from human activities, in the form of road kills, drownings in fishnets, destruction as pests around fishing areas, or trapping for their fur. Most river otters are opportunistic, feeding on whatever is most easily obtained. They are not at the top of the food web, however, and are eaten by orcas, great white sharks and other large predators. What do otters eat? Captured prey is eaten at sea while the otter swims on its back. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are an easily recognized and beloved marine mammal. There are three main reasons that they are found in such locations. Still, currently, they are habitat along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia, they are yet found in Russia. They are native to the northern coastlines of the Pacific Ocean, from northern Japan to Baja, Mexico. Here they eat, reproduce, rest, or do any other social interactions. North American river otter – This species is found throughout much of Canada and parts of the United States. Director General, Cree Hunters and Trappers Income Security Board, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada. There is no specific breeding season in otters, so mating between animals occurs at any time of the year. Some are almost exclusively aquatic, like the sea otters that live in the Pacific ocean, and some spend more than half their time on land, like the giant otter that lives in the tropical rain-forests of South America. What Kingdom do Sea Otters belong to? Where do sea otters live? Eat sea urchins, clams, mussels, snails, prawns, crabs, abalone, squid. Where do Sea otters live ? The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family and the smallest marine mammal. Otters do not usually fly. When they are in their natural habitats, otters live for a maximum of twenty years, with a life expectancy of ten to fifteen years in the case of males, and from 15 to 20 years in females. However, large numbers of sea otters can deplete shellfish populations, conflicting with fisheries for crabs, clams, and abalones. Did you know you can symbolically adopt your favorite otter? Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are classified as marine mammals.They live along the Pacific coast of North America.Their historic range included shallow waters of the Bering Strait.It also included Kamchatka, and as far south as Japan.Sea otters have about 26,000 to 165,000 hairs per square centimeters of skin. Sea otter is scientifically known as Enhydra Lutris. The sea otter’s diet includes fish, crabs, molluscs, and sea urchins, and it has very strong teeth for crushing their shells. Sea otter predation on the herbivorous urchins (genus Strongylocentrotus) enables kelp forests and the fish associated with them to flourish. SEA OTTER LIVE CAMERA. They enjoy the freshwater but they are also known to live in the saltwater of the oceans as well. Thick fur of sea otters is the densest of all animals, it helps them to keep heat in cold water. That truly is a huge amount of salt. Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. In warmer regions crocodiles and alligators are threats. It is mostly solitary, and only rarely do groups of more than three animals occur. Many sea otters live near rocky sea bottoms and shorelines, where marine communities are extremely diverse. Thick fur of sea otters is the densest of all animals, it helps them to keep heat in cold water. Conservation. But if sea otter elders in Checleset Bay told floating bedtime stories to modern day pups, they might tell of their ancestors’ bizarre flying adventure. By controlling sea urchin populations, sea otters promote giant kelp growth, as that species is a favorite of sea urchin grazers. May 20, 2017 May 30, 2017 admintag Sea otters live in the northeast Pacific. Otters are found on every single continent in the world except for Australia and Antarctica. Although sea otters can walk comfortably on land, they prefer to live solely in the ocean. The sea otter can live its entire life without leaving the water. They all eat fish, clams, lobsters and small animals occurring along the shore. Marine otters occupy the intertidal zone that covers the first 100–150 metres (roughly 330–500 feet) of coastal water and about 30 metres (100 feet) inland. Sea otters live for approximately 15 to 20 years. At night, sea otters may choose either to sleep on land or simply to rest afloat near beds of kelp. This aquatic member of the weasel family is found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. June 12, 2017. admintag. Both rely exclusively on marine prey, although the sea otter can be found much farther offshore; the marine otter stays within about 100 metres (330 feet) of the shore. Unlike sea otters, marine otters shelter in rock cavities for daytime rest and parturition. Otters in Zoos. They typically follow the shortest route possible and often establish much-used trails. The majority of sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean, which is one of the five main biomes. In natural conditions, sea otters live 8-11 years, in captivity – about 20 years. Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of the San Francisco Bay. Some are almost exclusively aquatic, like the sea otters that live in the Pacific ocean, and some spend more than half their time on land, like the giant otter that lives in the tropical rain-forests of South America. Ninety percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. It prohibits commercial harvest of sea otters, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters for subsistence and creation of handicrafts. Earlier sea otters ranged from Mexico to Alaska. They have a rich fur for which humans hunted them almost to extinction. The marine biome is one of the largest biomes in the world, covering roughly 70% of the earth. Giant otters regularly feed on piranha, and have also been known to take down alligators. Where do otters live? Otters are carnivorous animals and fish make up 80% of their diet. In the wild, they mostly eat fish, while sea-dwelling otters use stones to break open mollusks. Sea otters are usually solitary but are sometimes seen in groups—gatherings of up to 2,000 have been observed along the coast of Alaska. European otter – As the name suggests this species is found in Europe and extends across parts of Asia and North Africa. They can live eight to nine years in the wild but have lived up to 21 years in captivity. Sea otters live in the northeast Pacific. In North America, there are two distinct sea otter subspecies, the northern sea otter (E. l. kenyoni) and the southern sea otter (E. l. nereis). A Sea Otter's Diet Fur colour is various shades of brown with lighter underparts. Two species are marine, with the others living predominantly in fresh water. Usually in the litter there is one, rarely two covered with fur and a well-formed baby. Otter, (subfamily Lutrinae), any of 13 or 14 species of semiaquatic mammals that belong to the weasel family (Mustelidae) and are noted for their playful behaviour. First, this helps with educating the public about them. The other small part of their lives live on the ocean floor to … Otters prefer to live in bodies of water that are close to land offering them wetlands or the woods close by. Kamchatka beavers do not form permanent pairs, males do not compete with each other and can mate with several females. Where is the camera? The southern sea otters in our Sea Otters exhibit love to play with toys, lounge in ice buckets or just snooze. It helps to bring them to life instead of just being something they see on TV or read about in books. Sea otters are spread around the colder regions of earth, in the ocean, hence their name, sea otter. Updates? Despite their sleek bodies, these mammals can eat food amounting to as much as 25% of their body weight. Otters are adorable animals and they can live both in the land and in the river. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. The African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter.African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. The 11 species often referred to as river otters are found throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia in freshwater ecosystems that sustain an abundance of prey such as fish, crayfish, crabs, mussels, and frogs. Pups stay with their mothers for the first 8 months of life. After being captured in the teeth or forefeet, prey is consumed either in the water or on shore. There is a much larger population in Alaska, and sea otters are still found in Russia. Updated June 21, 2019 Sea otters live in the Pacific Ocean and are found in Russia, Alaska, Washington state and California. Eurasian otters are indigenous to the UK and can be found in either fresh or salt water, although it’s usually known as the river otter for the obvious reason. Sea otters prefer coastal habitats within a mile of the shoreline. The sea otter is the heaviest (the giant otter is longer, but significantly slimmer) member of the family Mustelidae, a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels, badgers, and minks. They also tend to live on the east coast of Russia and Japan. Otters range in size from 3 kg (6.6 pounds) in the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus, formerly Amblonyx cinereus) to 26 kg (57 pounds) in the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and 45 kg (99 pounds) in the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). The only member of the genus Enhydra, the sea otter is so different from other mustelid species that, as recently … Today, about 168,000 sea otters live off the coast of Alaska and Russia, with another 2,400 along the central California coast. This small (3–6 kg [6.6–13.2 pounds]) otter occurs on the Pacific coast from Peru through Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. They even love to live in swamp and marsh areas. The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Live near kelp beds in salt water. The marine community is diverse, so sometimes mud and sand can be a large part of the environment, but in more confined areas such as bays and inlets. Eat fish, crayfish, bugs, rats, and birds. Other populations are found in the western north Pacific off the Kuril Islands and in California from Point Ano Nuevo south to San Nicolas Island. Otters have some interesting relatives. They use kelp beds to wrap themselves or tie themselves up in and to find food. California and Japan are the closest sea otters will live to the equator, as it is too hot to live closer, although it is still possible to live lower. As they are mammals, they stay for short periods of time. Adults weigh up to 99 pounds and are the weasel family’s heaviest animals, but strangely the smallest of all marine mammals. They typically use … Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of … Young otters (pups) may fall prey to large raptors, and various carnivores may kill adults traveling on land. We also see rafts of three to five otters between the harbor and just n… How Much Do Sea Otters Live? African clawless otters (Aonyx capensis) and Congo clawless otters (A. congicus or A. capensis congicus) occupy murky waterways and thus rely more on manual dexterity than on vision to obtain food (mostly crabs) from under rocks. Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. Sea otters do have a friendly and charismatic personality, but even with good intentions, it is almost never a good idea to approach a sea otter in the wild. However, when fish is scarce, they eat insects, frogs, birds and other mammals like rodents. Female sea otters live to up to 20 years, while males live up to 15 years. Engage Youth with Sailors for the Sea. 2 . Sea otter – This species lives on the Pacific coast of the North American continent. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. Otters are found almost all over the world and in many wet habitats, such freshwater rivers, lakes, oceans, coastlines and marshes. An abundance of sea otters swam in the waters here and hauled up on the shores, Ogden wrote, often congregating near the mouths of the many creeks that flowed into the bay. In a kelp forest, sea urchins can graze on the kelp and eat their holdfasts, resulting in deforesting the kelp from an area. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. It’s also home to the largest concentration of southern sea otters along the California coast. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The slough and wetlands, adjacent to the Monterey Bay, provide critical habitat for hundreds of species, including sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, great egrets and brown pelicans. The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects sea otters. In this manner, sea otters are keystone predators in the kelp forests where they live. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. Fish are also eaten. What’s for Dinner – A sea otter’s favorite food is sea urchin, the horribly spiny little echinoderm (which ironically enough means “spiny skin”). They live mainly in coastal waters that have a depth of fifteen to twenty meters. Want to watch cute sea otters romp, wrestle and play every day of the year? Both rely exclusively on marine prey, although the sea otter can be found much farther offshore; the marine otter stays within about 100 metres (330 feet) of the shore. The front and back feet are fully webbed; large lungs allow long dives and provide buoyancy and thick fur provides insulation. Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, South Central and Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Their habitat is commonly  above rocky sea floors. When not resting or eating, river otters can often be seen eagerly sliding down mud or snow banks. Scotland's Shetland Islands are home to a large otter population. Local sea otters are accustomed to boats, so there is excellent viewing in the small boat harbor with one or two otters often frequenting the entrance area between the jetties. Switch to SEABIRD CAM or SHARK CAM. They rarely appear on the shore and sleep, rocking on the waves, on their backs, clinging to algae so that they are not carried away by the current. 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. Rocks are typically used to break open crabs and shellfish, whereas sea urchins are crushed with the forefeet and teeth. The sea otters inhabit the North Pacific from northern Japan to Baja California in Mexico. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family and the smallest marine mammal. Sea otters, the marquee attraction at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, continue to draw crowds on the aquarium's live web cams while the facility is closed due to coronavirus. Where do sea otters live? The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill killed at least 1,000 sea otters, and mortality rates continued to rise through 1993 as a result of the spill. There is no specific breeding season in otters, so mating between animals occurs at any time of the year. Their front feet are handlike and partially webbed. Here they eat, reproduce, rest, or do any other social interactions. Sea otters can also drink salt water and thus can remain at sea for several days at a time. The sea otters usually live near the shore waters of the North Pacific, from Japan, north to the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, then from Alaska down along the Pacific coast of North America to Baja, California. Swimming ability is further enhanced in most species by four webbed feet. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. Alaska sea otters inhabit the coast of Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands, and south along British Columbia and Washington. Most sea otters remain in habitats with rocky substrate, as their prey tend to be more plentiful in these areas. Most otters live in dens — built by other animals, such as beavers — that are dug into the ground that have many channels and dry inner chambers. Oceana joined forces with Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization dedicated to educating and engaging the world’s boating community. Sea otters mainly eat sea urchins, crabs, clams, mussels, octopus, other marine invertebrates, and fish. Omissions? 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. The sea otter is covered in dense fur that consists of two layers. Tune into our LIVE Sea Otter Cam for your daily dose of sea otter cuteness. 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