Sea Otter

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter lives mostly in the ocean.

The sea otter inhabits offshore environments, where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems. Its diet includes prey species that are also valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries.

Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species now occupies about two-thirds of its former range. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species.

Read more about Sea OtterTaxonomy, Physical Characteristics, Behavior, Population and Distribution

Other articles related to "sea otter, sea, sea otters, otter":

Sea Otter Conservation - California
... California is the only location where the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) subspecies is found in significant numbers ... However, recovery has been slow in comparison to sea other populations elsewhere, and also in comparison to sympatric marine mammal species such as California sea lions and harbor seals ... The southern sea otter was listed under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened subspecies in 1977 ...
Sea Otter Conservation
... Modern efforts in sea otter conservation began in the early 20th century, when the sea otter was nearly extinct due to large-scale commercial hunting ... The sea otter was once abundant in a wide arc across the North Pacific ocean, from northern Japan to Alaska to Mexico ... animal's luxurious fur had reduced the sea otter population to fewer than 2000 individuals in the most remote and inaccessible parts of its range ...
List Of Historical Ships In British Columbia - S
... SS Sea Bird namesake of Sea Bird Island near Agassiz Sea Otter Harmon James Hanna brig 60 tons, crew of 30 Britain John Henry Cox and "friends connected with the. 1785 Hanna's two voyages were on different ships but both were named Sea Otter ... Sea Otter (II) James Hanna snow 120 tons, or 100 tons ...
HMS Triumph (R16) - Korean War Service
... Cane, flying a Sea Otter, an air-sea rescue aircraft, performed the last operational sea rescue of that type, when a F4U Corsair had been shot down by anti-aircraft fire, forcing the American pilot to ditch into ... The Sea Otter landed despite the adverse conditions and the American pilot was soon rescued ... The Sea Otter returned to Triumph successfully, thanks mainly to the skill of the pilot, who was awarded the US Air Medal as a result ...
Sea Otter - Relationship With Humans - Aquariums and Zoos
... Sea otters can do well in captivity, and are featured in over 40 public aquariums and zoos ... In 2007, a YouTube video of two sea otters holding paws drew 1.5 million viewers in two weeks, and currently has over 17 million views ... The lighter-colored otter in the video is Nyac, a survivor of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill ...

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