Average weight of an adult female California sea otter is about 50 lbs. What is the difference in a sea otter vs. a river otter? She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. Like all otters they rely on their fur, which is the thickest of all otters with 150,000 hairs per square cm. Sea otters need to consume around a quarter of their body weight in food every single day to support their high metabolism and maintain a comfortable body temperature. Below is a simplified food web for a coastal Pacific giant kelp forest. Deep-sea omnivores include copepods and some species of squid and octopus. The sense of smell also helps them identify each other. Reduced range and population size, vulnerability to oil spills, and oil spill risk from coastal tanker traffic were the primary reasons for listing. Sea otters are omnivores as they do eat seaweed and other aquatic plants.Despite this though, most sea otter individuals have a primarily carnivorous diet with sea otters known to eat more than 40 different species of marine animals.The sea otter mainly hunts sea urchins, clams, crabs, snails and small fish in … She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. People enjoy the taste of the oily fish in many different ways including pickled, smoked, salted, dried and fermented. 70% off with coupon code LOVEANIMALS. Would also work well for wall art, nursery, baby shower, quiet activity, or an educational gift to kids. Despite this though, most sea otter individuals have a primarily carnivorous diet with sea otters known to eat more than 40 different species of marine animals. Background . By damaging the fur on which the otter relies for survival, the oil spill killed thousands and still affects the otter population decades later. Sea otters are carnivores, and eat exclusively seafood like abalone, urchins, octopuses, crustaceans, mollusks, and occasionally fish. OTTERS There are about 13 species of Otter. One of the challenges of sea otter conservation is to expand the range beyond its present limits to sustain consistent growth. It often becomes specializes in hunting one type of animal, depending on local food availability and the individual’s skills. Sea Otters belong to the phylum Chordata. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications. Click through all of our Sea Otter images in the gallery. #10 Smartest Animal on Earth: Raccoon Raccoon Reaches For Flower Raccoons may gravitate to the garbage, but they’re also super smart. Pups communicate with their mothers by squealing. Thanks to the protection of the 1975 Endangered Species Act and the diligent work of conservationists, sea otter numbers have begun to recover. Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. Consisting of between 10 and 100 individuals (though sometimes more), the raft provides safety and respite for the otter in between hunting trips. They all occupy the same family, Mustelidae, as the weasels, badgers, wolverines, and minks. 1. Each of three sea otter subspecies has a distinct geographical range the Pacific. Sea otters and river otters may look almost identical at first glance, but there are plenty of differences to distinguish them. We eat animals, cooked as meat or used for products like milk or eggs. But it may be a few years after that before they finally produce their first litter. It's known to be hunted by foxes and wolves. Shape The World. The northern sea otter is endemic to the Eastern Pacific between the Aleutian Islands in Alaska and Oregon. You could watch them for hours without stopping to wonder whether they're omnivorous or not. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Omnivores that live in the ocean include sea turtles, manatee, dolphins, opaleye, saltwater crabs, lobsters, sea otters, sharks and whales. The eastern sea otter is classified as omnivore they eat both plants and animal but just like any other sea otter, their favorite food will be sea urchin. Measuring around 4 feet and up to 90 pounds in size, the sea otter is one of the largest members of its family – though also the smallest marine mammal in North America. The sea otter is easy to identify from its long body, short snout, flat tail, and small beady eyes. Large Animal + Letter Printable Flash Card Bundle! Food preference varies, so not all sea otters eat this. This means that they eat both animals and plants. Since the dense fur is the key to its survival, the sea otter will spend plenty of time to groom the coat into excellent shape with its natural oils. Among sea birds, several species of seagull are omnivorous. Sea otter fur is the densest of any mammal at about 1 million hairs per square inch (We have 100,000 hairs on our entire head). Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the families Mustelidae (which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels, and ferrets), and Mephitidae (which also includes the skunks). What is the difference in a sea otter vs. a river otter? Otters usually forage for the slower-moving fish like carp or suckers, but once an otter has developed a taste for a specific species of fish, those are the ones it searches out. The scientific name of the sea otter is Enhydra lutris. This fur traps air right next to the skin to keep it warm and dry. Although four other species of freshwater otters may obtain some of their food from the sea, only two of the approximately 67 species in this family are truly marine, the sea otter and the marine otter. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. A sea otter eats in the water, lying on its back, with its food on its chest. The sea otter’s diet is actually carnivorous. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill had a particularly calamitous effect on the remaining Alaskan populations. They are also very good neighbors and yet highly aggressive when it comes to mates. What type of covering do Sea Otters have? If a few come upon a school of herring, for example, the whole group, friends and family alike, will gather to feast on the find. While they are mostly known to eat fish, shellfish, abalone, etc, they can also consume plant and algae material. River otters who live in captivity, like the ones at the Oakland Zoo in California, get their meals served to them without the benefit of filling out a menu preference card. Is the sea otter an omnivore? Both the nostrils and ears are able to close when the otter dives underwater. Enhydra appears to come from an old Greek term that roughly translates to “in water.” The scientific name Lutris is simply the Latin word for otter. Pin fish. Facts about Otters. This includes; crabs, sea urchins, abalones, clams, mussels, squid, sea stars, and snails. The impetus for Community Ecology of Sea Otters comes from two sources. Sea otters, or that. River otters are social creatures who don't mind banding together to seek out a quality food source. They may mistake you for a threat. The hind feet, which have evolved for an aquatic lifestyle, are very flat and fully webbed. The otter, in turn, is an important source of nutrition for many predators higher up the food chain. Sea otters are the first ones I think of. Let's enjoy some (occasionally surprising) examples of omnivores. A massive effort to clean up the oceans, improve the ecosystem, and limit the damage from climate change would go a long way toward improving population numbers. It’s often referred to as a “keystone species.” Whenever it’s reintroduced into a habitat, the health of the ecosystem often improves. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. Its size is also surprisingly large. omnivores. They eat sea urchins, crabs, squids, octopuses, fish, snails, and about 40 other marine species. 70% off with coupon code LOVEANIMALS. They obtain most of their water from the food, but they can also drink seawater as necessary. November 12th is celebrated as National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, What are the 10 smartest animals on Earth? The otter’s tolerance of its neighbors does not necessarily extend to the breeding months, when it’s most likely to maintain and police its territory. Outside of the United States, both the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada and the Birmingham Aquarium in the UK have sea otters on exhibit. Caniformia is a suborder within the order Carnivora consisting of "dog-like" carnivorans. 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