Rarely found in freshwater, this species prefers exposed coastal areas, and tolerates rough conditions and enjoys regions which offer a variety of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. Unfortunately, their fur also nearly led to this species’ demise. The word ‘otter’ is from Indo European and Old English root words that are also the basis of the English word ‘water’. For Immediate Release. They have furry bodies, whiskered faces, and a propensity to lay on their backs and float on the water, a behavior that humans perceive as evidence of fun-loving. Sea otters are found in two areas: The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and along the central California coast. Otters have some interesting relatives. They have long, narrow bodies, with long tails and short legs. Still, currently, they are habitat along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia, they are yet found in Russia. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. However, they can also be found on soft-bottom coastal areas. Genus Enhydra (sea otter) Some are almost exclusively aquatic, like the sea otters that live in the Pacific ocean, and some spend more than half their time on land, like the giant otter that lives in the tropical rain-forests of South America. When hunting for prey, Marine otters will dive as deep as 30 to 40 m. A baby marine otter is a 'pup’ or ‘whelp'. Sea Otters have very distinct habitats. River otters, despite their names, can live in a variety of habitats including streams, rivers, lakes, and freshwater and saltwater marshes. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). It prohibits commercial harvest of sea otters, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters for subsistence and creation of handicrafts. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of … The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. They are most commonly found in coral reefs and rocky coastlines. The sea otter is the heaviest (the giant otter is longer, but significantly slimmer) member of the family Mustelidae, a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels, badgers, and minks. Rarely found in freshwater, this species prefers exposed coastal areas, and tolerates rough conditions and enjoys regions which offer a … The kelp helps the sea otters to wrap themselves in when they are resting. The Marine otter lives along the Pacific Ocean’s coast, from northern Peru to the Isla de Los Estados, Argentina and Cape Horn, Chile. 1; Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal. Can otters use tools? Sea Otter Savvy In spring of 2014, at the Southern Sea Otter Research Update Meeting in Santa Cruz, some of the most influential sea otter agency and organization representatives convened a special working group to address the increasing frequency of disturbance to sea otters by human marine recreation activities. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. Though they both live in the marine environment, marine otters are more closely related to the three species of American river otters than to the sea otter, indicating that the coastal/marine lifestyle evolved twice in the weasel family. The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family and the smallest marine mammal. Age at sexual maturity is 3-4 years in females and is probably 7-8 years in males. Unlike most marine mammals that rely on a thick layer of blubber to insulate them from cold ocean waters, sea otters rely on their extremely thick fur the thickest of all animals. They tend to live where there are cooler waters, but have been known to live where there is warmer water and sandy land. The only member of the genus Enhydra, the sea otter is so different from other mustelid species that, as recently … These furry marine mammals are one of only a few marine animals known to use tools to obtain their food. North American river otter (or common otter): Found in and along North America’s waterways and coasts, these otters weigh between 11 and 31 lbs (5-14kg). River otters can tolerate a variety of environments, including … In this position they can ingest prey even in high waves. Australia and Antarctica are the only continents in the world where there are no otters. The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects sea otters. This charismatic marine species displays charm and dexterity. River otters are found throughout most of North America from the Rio Grande to Canada and Alaska, except for in arid deserts and the treeless Arctic. This otter is found in coastal areas and on larger inland rivers … They also scavenge for garbage, bringing them into close contact with people. Unfortunately, this thick fur also nearly led to this species demise. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Such competitions often involve fighting, biting, and high-pitched squeaks, resulting in bleeding wounds. Unlike most marine mammals that rely on a thick layer of blubber to insulate them from cold ocean waters, marine otters rely on their extremely thick fur. Groups are rarely more than two or three in number. A Sea Otter's Diet The geographic range is also constricted compared to pre-hunting times, and it may still disappear from some places, as poaching continues to be a problem. Chilean sea otter, Patagonian otter, Sea cat, South American sea otter, Otter cat, Gato Marino. They only reach about 13 pounds (6 kg) vs. 100 pounds (45 kg) in sea otters. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. For more information on these species click hereAll are declining in number except the North American river otter which is regarded as stable. It is one of just two species of the family of weasels that spends its time in the ocean, though unlike the sea otter, it does not spend its entire life in the ocean, but lives on land, feeding along the rocky shores, only making short trips into the sea to hunt. Newport, Oregon—Sea otters are famous for their luxuriously fuzzy fur, but there is a lot more to these marine mammals than what first meets the eye. Southern sea otters can be found along California's central coast, from San Mateo County in the north to near Santa Barbara in the south. Unfortunately, their fur also nearly led to this species demise. Otters have small, rounded ears, and long sensitive whiskers to help them feel the vibrations of their prey. This species suffers many threats from different sources. It lives along South America’s Pacific coast. Genus Hydrictis (speckle-throated otter) 1 species found in sub-Saharan Africa. Breeding occurs from December to January, with 2-4 kits born after a two month gestation. Mating typically takes place during December or January. This species is much more agile in water than on land. Sea Otter Awareness Week aims to showcase just that, and inspire people around the world to help these threatened animals. A great way to get involved in protecting #oceans: Join Oceana as a Wavemaker & sound off on important issues! The marine otter is a charismatic marine mammal that lives along the Pacific coast of South America. Currently this species is classified as Endangered (EN) and its numbers today are decreasing. 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