California’s Southern Sea Otter needs you help

Sea Otter Awareness Week – Southern sea otter is endangered
This happy “water weasel”  is about 4 feet long and keen vision both on land and in the sea. they are intelligent enough to use tools to pry open mussels and clams.  It is the top predator in its part of the food chain. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, can come ashore to sleep or rest. Sea otters have webbed feet, thick water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water.                                                                                                      

Feeding: strong front teeth are used for tearing food, flat molars help crush
Its tail is  flattened tail and with their flipper-like hind feet can propel themselves rapidly through the water. They will often be seen floating on their backs banging the mussel and munching its contents. What a life!

Otters must eat the equivalent of 20 to 25 percent of their body weight each day in order to maintain a high level of internal heat production, because they do not have blubber for warmth like other marine mammals. Otters feed on about 40 different marine invertebrates.

Otters feed on about 40 different marine invertebrates. They dive up to180 feet foraging for food; otters in Monterey Bay generally forage in water depths of 60 feet or less. Their large lung capacity 2.5 times as great as other mammals the same size, allows them to safely dive to such depths.They use their forepaws or tools to dislodge prey from rocky areas.

The southern sea otter, one of 13 different species of river and sea otters worldwide, ranges from Año Nuevo, north of Santa Cruz, to Purisima Point, north of Point Conception. There is, additionally, a small colony near San Nicolas Island off Santa Barbara.

Grooming goes on when the otter are not sleeping or eating because it is the way otters force air bubbles down next to their skin. These air bubbles act as insulation for warmth and provide buoyancy.

The southern sea otter is  a threatened population because of water pollution and discarded plastic bags. These charismatic animals often float in forests of kelp, or giant seaweed, in which they entangle themselves to provide anchorage in the swirling sea.

Otter pictures and videos

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/photos/otters.html

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean.   image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter

Save the sea otter donate today. http://naturescrusaders.com

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