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 Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)




Sea Otter | Enhydra lutris photo
Mother Sea Otter with pup at Morro Bay, California.

Photograph by Mike Baird. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Sea Otter | Enhydra lutris photo
Sea Otter Mother with Pup, Morro Bay, CA

Photograph by Mike Baird. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Sea Otter | Enhydra lutris photo
Sea Otter Mother with Pup, Morro Bay, CA

Photograph by Mike Baird. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Sea Otter | Enhydra lutris photo
Sea Otter preening itself in Morro Bay

Photograph by Mike Baird. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

SEA OTTER FACTS

Description
The Sea Otter has brown or reddish brown fur. The tail is less than a third of the body length. They have the densest fur of all mammals - this helps them maintain warmth in the ocean. The hind legs are long with broad, flat webbed paws. The front legs are short with retractable claws

Size
The Sea Otter is the largest member of the Mustelidae family. Length 1.1m - 1.5m. Males are slightly larger than females.

Environment
coastal waters with rocky or soft sediment ocean floor, less than 1 km from shore.

Food
abalone, crabs, shell fish, sea urchins. Also some octopus, squid, fish.

Breeding
Sea Otters mate and give birth in the water. A single pup is born after gestation of about 6 months (somewhere between 4 - 12 months). The young are weaned after about 6 months.

Range
off the coast of central California, the Aleutian Islands and southern Alaska. Has been reintroduced to various locations from south of Prince William Sound, Alaska to Oregon.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "endangered".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Enhydra
Species:lutris
Common Name:Sea Otter