Sea Otters Essay

380 Words2 Pages
Off the coast of California Sea Otters feed off of over forty marine invertebrates including abalone, mussels, sea urchins, clams, crabs and snails to name a few. Putting themselves in an elite category of mammals, Sea Otters use tools to pry food from rocks, or to smash open shells. Their catlike claws retract like a cat's for grooming and eating which is important as they eat twenty to twenty five percent of their body weight each day. Not only that, but they have a built-in dinner table: their bellies. They even have pockets of skin under the forelegs to stash food for their trip from sea bed to water's surface. Using their surroundings, which used to span the globe but are now limited to a few locations such as Japan, Russia, Canada, Alaska and California, sea otters wrap themselves in kelp to prevent floating away while they eat a snack. Kelp is also used to wrap around a pup and keep them close. Kelp beds are a plentiful source of food for sea otters. While a large population of sea otters can wipe out abalone and crabs that fishermen make their living off of, otters were once heavily hunted for their fur. From over a million, otters have been reduced to less than a hundred thousand worldwide. Considered a threatened species, approximately 2,750 southern sea otters live in coastal California waters. Females weighing about forty five pounds outlive the males by up to five years with males living to be ten or fifteen. Mating season lasts throughout the year with a gestation period of six to eight months. Twins are rare and hard to feed, so most litters tend to have only a single cub. Humans getting too close can cause a mother to dive with their young. Too much diving and the pup can drown. Mothers raise their cubs until about eight months when the young cubs strike out on their own. Because they don't have blubber, sea otters push air bubbles into their

More about Sea Otters Essay

Open Document