Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Watery Wednesday: Sea Otter

This week for Watery Wednesday I have some really cute sea otter pictures to share.

These pictures were taken at Moss Landing and the Elkhorn Slough, in central California, back in February of 2008. This was our second trip into the Monterrey Bay area of California and we have been fortunate to photograph sea otters on both trips, although there were a lot more of them in 2007.

Sea Otters are the largest member of the weasel family, with adults averaging 5 feet in length. They have the finest fur of any mammal, with up to about 1 million hairs per square inch. Their thick fur is needed to keep them warm as they spend most of their lives in the water, which can get very cold.

Sea otters spend most of their time floating on their backs, they eat, sleep, groom, and nurse their young while floating on their backs. Since they are social creatures they will often float together in groups, that can number over 100, which are called rafts. They are also fairly intelligent and are often seen using tools, like a rock or a bottle, to open up a hard shelled crustation.

Sea otters eat mainly sea dwelling invertebrates like clams, crabs, mussels and urchins as well as fish. Most of these are found on the ocean floor which means that the otter has to sometimes dive up to 250 feet to find its prey. Their front claws are retractable, making it easier to catch their prey. An adult will often eat 25 to 30 percent of their body weight in food each day to help them keep warm in their cold watery home.

11 comments:

HANNIBAL said...

Amazing captures! LOVED the bottle photo! Seriously!

Lakshmi said...

They look so adorable..wow.

Leedra said...

Lovely post, enjoyed, thanks for sharing.

lecartedimauri said...

best Wishes for a peaceful Christmas!!

JennWasHere said...

Awww how sweet! All pictures were nicely captured.

My post for Watery Wednesday is here. Happy holidays!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I've always heard it said that they are lots of fun to watch. I've never seen them myself. Thanks for sharing.

Lew said...

Do sea otters drink Heineken? reat photos of this intelligent sea creature.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Great shots! Wow! I can't get over how thick their hair/fur is but it really shows in the pictures slicked back from being wet. They are so cute!

ilanadavita said...

Otters are my favorite wild animals; don't know why. Your shots are wonderful.

dAwN said...

love the photos..I too like the bottle shot..whats in that bottle..and was it just play or were they drinkin some beer?
Happy Holidays

Nick S said...

These are great :-) Merry Christmas !