Sea otters are marine mammals that are native to the coastal waters of the North Pacific Ocean. They are small in size, with adult males reaching up to 1.2 meters (4 feet) in length and weighing up to 45 kg (100 lbs). Adult females are slightly smaller, typically reaching 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length and weighing around 30 kg (66 lbs).
They have a thick, soft fur that helps them stay warm in the cold ocean water. Sea otters have a round head, small ears and eyes, and a short snout. They are known for their long, dense, and coarse fur.
Sea otters are found along the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Russia, and California. They prefer to live in areas with kelp forests or rocky shores, where they can use the kelp to anchor themselves while they sleep and eat.
Sea otters are opportunistic predators and their diet mainly consists of marine invertebrates such as clams, crabs, urchins, and snails. They are known to use tools, such as rocks, to crack open their food. They also eat fish and squid if available.
Sea otters are social animals that live in groups called rafts. They are active during the day and spend most of their time in the water. They are known to communicate with one another through vocalizations such as chirps, whistles, and screams, as well as through scent marking.
They are known to be playful animals and are often seen holding hands while they sleep in order to stay together in the water.
Sea otters are scientifically known as Enhydra lutris, and are a member of the family Mustelidae (weasels). They are considered a marine mammal, as they spend most of their time in the ocean.
Sea otters are currently listed as a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population has decreased due to hunting and habitat loss.
Conservation efforts are in place to protect them, such as hunting bans and habitat protection. Additionally, sea otters are considered an indicator species, as their health and population can indicate the overall health of their ecosystem.