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23 Exciting Sea Otter Facts For Kids

Sea Otter Facts
Sea Otter Facts

Aren’t sea otters the cutest members of the weasel family? So today, we are going to discuss some interesting sea otter facts for kids.

1. Otter has diverse relatives that one will find interesting.

Did you know that otters are part of the Mustelidae family? Well, now you know!

This family includes carnivorous mammals like badgers, wolverines, weasels, and skunks. Apart from this, sea otters are the largest member of the weasel family. However, it is considered one of the smallest mammals in North America.

2. Most sea otters are born and live in Alaska.

According to the sources, around 90 percent of the sea otters around the globe live on the coastal side of Alaska. These cute animals live in waters surrounding public lands including Glacier Bay National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, as well as Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Furthermore, southern sea otters range along the mainland coastline of Caroline of California from Santa Barbara County, and San Nicolas Island to San Mateo County.

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3. International and US law protects sea otters.

International and US law protects sea otters
International and US law protects sea otters

Poor sea otters are on the verge of extinction because they were daily hunted by fur traders in the 18th and 19th centuries. So now, only 2000 sea otters are dispersed throughout the North Pacific rim.

Later on, the International Fur Seal Treaty started protecting them in 1911. And now, they have received more protection in the United States with the passage of the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act in the 1970s.

4. Sea otters eat a lot of food every day that is 25 percent of their body weight

Wanna hear one of the interesting facts about sea otters? Then here’s one!

The diet of these lovely sea creatures includes clams, mussels, crabs, and sea urchins, which they crack open with rocks and enjoy their snacks while floating on water.

How cute!

When they are on the hunt for their food, they may occasionally go on a deep diving adventure of 250 feet. Additionally, they use their sensitive whiskers to find their small prey inside crevices or their strong forepaws to dig for clams.

5. Sea otters have the thickest fur than any other mammals.

Furry animals are the softest, aren’t they?

You won’t believe us if we tell you sea otter’s contained between 600,000 to 1,000,000 hair follicles per square inch. But what we said is true because, unlike other marine mammals, otters do not have a bubble layer.

Thus, they depend more on their dense water-resistant fur to provide.

6. Sea Otters can keep their body temperature stable.

Sea otters spend half of their lives in water, so it becomes important to maintain their body temperature stable. So most of the time, you will find them grooming and conditioning their fur, which helps them to trap heat next to their exposed skin.

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7. Sea otters can have a pup any time of the year.

Southern sea otters can breed and give birth to a pup all year round. On the other hand, northern sea otter pups are born in the spring in Alaska. And they breed once every five months.

8. Otter pups need more mother’s care.

A newborn otter pup needs to be under constant care and supervision of the mother for six to seven months. So they stay with their mother until they develop survival skills.

9. Otter puppies have dense fur.

Otter puppies have dense fur
Otter puppies have dense fur

The fur of an otter pup is so dense that it cannot go underwater until it turns into an adult. This is useful when the otter’s mother leaves their pups safely floating on the surface while they hunt for food.

10. Don’t challenge otters to a breath-holding competition.

Sources say that the otter’s lung capacity is 2.5 times greater than that of other same-sized mammals on the land. Sea otters can stay under the eater for more than five minutes.

Besides, the river otters can hold their breath between 7 to 8 minutes; this increased time underwater helps them improve their preying senses.

11. The otter is one of the few mammals that use tools.

The sea otters usually use a rock as a hammer or anvil to break open prey with hard shells.

Have you ever wondered where these sea mammals store their tools? They keep their rock and their food in a loose patch of skin under their armpit.

12. A group of resting otters is called a raft.

Who doesn’t like to take a rest? Even otter loves to just lay and chill around in big groups.

Some researchers have noticed a group of over 1,000 otters floating together.

Why do sea otters do that?

They rest close to each other so that they don’t drift away from the group. They use seaweed to wrap themselves that form a raft-like structure.

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13. Otters might look soft and cuddly but remain dangerous wild animals.

At one glance, you might think otters are chubby cute animals. But no, you are wrong!

They gave strong teeth, and their bites were powerful too. So whenever you see the whether in the sea or land, make sure to maintain a safe distance of at least 60 feet or 5 kayak lengths from these mammals.

14. Sea otter’s fur keeps them dry

The fur of sea otters is thick and repels the water. This is the most important thing for them because they spend all their lives in water. Moreover, their fur keeps them dry and warm even if the temperature falls.

15. Sea otters live a long life

Sea otters live a long life
Sea otters live a long life

According to the sources, sea otters can live up to twenty to twenty-three years in the wild.

16. Nostrils and ears of sea otters shut in water

The ears and nostrils of sea otters automatically close in the water. If this doesn’t happen, cold can get inside sea otters’ bodies through ears and nostrils.

17. Sea otters are hygienic mammals

Another sea otter facts for kids is that sea otters keep themselves super clean. All thanks to their thick dust proof hair coats.

18. Sea otters start their swimming practice at a young age

Sea otters learn to swim when they are only 4 weeks old. The otter mothers are extra careful while teaching their pups because their furs are not completely developed.

19. Sea otters have pockets

As we know, the sea has thick coats and pockets situated on the front legs. These pockets work as food storage whenever they are foraging the sea for food.

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20. Sea otter’s scientific name is Enhydra lutris

Next, in scientific terms, sea otter facts for kids is that these mammals are called Enhydra lutris. These words simply mean ‘in water otter’ in Latin and Greek.

21. Sea otters are the smallest mammals

It is being said that sea otter are the smallest mammals in the entire ocean. Their small body not only makes them the smallest but also the cutest mammals alive on the planet. 

However, these mammals are the heaviest mustelids.

22. The color of the sea otter’s body changes as they grow.

The color of the sea otter's body changes as they grow
The color of the sea otter’s body changes as they grow

When the sea otters become a complete adults, the color of their chest, throat, and head becomes lighter in shade than the rest of their body.

23. Sea otter’s sight and hearing are average.

The sense of sight of sea otters is useful above and below the water. The same is with their hearing. 

In short, their hearing and vision are neither poor nor acute. 

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