Sea Otters

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Sea Otters are the smallest marine mammals, the southern sea otter, a subspecies of the sea otter, is on the U.S Endangered Species List.   It is classified as threatened in California.  The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family. Southern sea otters typically reach about four feet in length.   Females average about 45 pounds, while males can average to about 65 pounds.   Northern sea otters can reach up to 100 pounds.   A sea otters fur is the thickest and finest of any mammal.

  They have 850,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch consisting of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs.   The sea otter uses air trapped between their hairs to keep it insulated in cold waters.   If the hair gets soiled with substances such as oil, insulation is lost and the sea otter has trouble maintaining body heat.   For this reason, sea otters spend much of their time grooming themselves in order to keep their fur in good condition.

 A sea otter’s undercoat ranges from brown to almost black in color.  There guard hairs may be silver, pale brown or black.  Older otters tend to have a silvery head.  Today there are about 2,500 southern sea otters off the coast of California. There are between 27,500 and 52,500 northern sea otters residing in Alaska, Canada and Washington.  There are approximately 15,000 in Russia.  Two hundred years ago, demand for the otter’s pelt nearly led to its extinction.

 Sea Otters are the smallest marine mammals, the southern sea otter, a subspecies of the sea otter, is on the U.S Endangered Species List.  It is classified as threatened in California.  The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family. Southern sea otters typically reach about four feet in length.   Females average about 45 pounds, while males can average to about 65 pounds.   Northern sea otters can reach up to 100 pounds.  A sea otters fur is the thickest and finest of any mammal.

  They have 850,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch consisting of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs.  The sea otter uses air trapped between their hairs to keep it insulated in cold waters.  If the hair gets soiled with substances such as oil, insulation is lost and the sea otter has trouble maintaining body heat.   For this reason, sea otters spend much of their time grooming themselves in order to keep their fur in good condition.  A sea otter’s undercoat ranges from brown to almost black in color. Guard hairs may be silver, pale brown or black. Older otters tend to have a silvery head.

 Today there are about 2,500 southern sea otters off the coast of California. There are between 27,500 and 52,500 northern sea otters residing in Alaska, Canada and Washington.  There are approximately 15,000 in Russia.  Two hundred years ago, demand for the otter’s pelt nearly led to its extinction.  Sea otters are naturally curious.  They seem just like humans we are curious too.  Sea otters also use a lot of energy to find there food.  A study is going on now to learn how much and the different prey. 

Here are some of the there senses:
              Strong sense of smell
              Good eyesight both above and below the water
              Whiskers used to sense vibrations in the water
              Excellent sense of touch

             The sea otter is a very unique animal.  Please visit this website to learn more about the “Sea Otter”. 

http://www.mbayaq.org/efc/efc_otter/otter_cam.asp

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