Humanity has a tendency to romanticize the rest of the natural world. Male otters will find a juvenile harbor seal and mount it, as if he were mating with a female otter. The young begin to dive in their second month; the duration of dives and success in finding food increases with age. Not the penguins! It has been placed on British Columbia's Red List and has been legally designated as an Endangered Species under the Wildlife Act. coast, could be catastrophic. Most daytime foraging activity occurs in the morning and late afternoon, most resting around midday. It takes a lot of resources to feed an otter - they need to eat approximately 25% of their body weight every single day. Their measurements vary depending on the sex. His report on the sexual behaviors of these penguins was deemed too extreme for publication and was hidden for one hundred years. And they hunt in packs. Finally, the sea otter positioned itself dorsal to the pup’s smaller body while grasping it by the head and holding it underwater in a position typical of mating sea otters. Prominent whiskers, and the grizzled facial fur of older animals have given rise to the nickname "old man of the sea.". Sea otters are smaller than seals and sea lions, have stubby front paws and rest by floating on their back. Populations of otters along the Alaskan and Canadian coast, which had recovered to a few hundred thousand, were driven back down to just a few thousand. Sure, they are incredibly intelligent, always look like they’re smiling, and rescue the occasional stranded swimmer -  but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they kill for fun and like otters, enjoy a spot of rape from time to time. Unfortunately, some people are disappointed in the women who have attempted to become Navy SEALs and came out unsuccessful. While mothers and pups are usually solitary, sea otters can form social groups of up to a few dozen. When at rest, Sea Otters lie on their backs, usually entwined in kelp to hold their position, feet held high in the air to prevent heat loss. Margays, which are sometimes known as tree ocelots, are nocturnal cats from southern Mexico down to South America. The journals of such explorers, and the luxuriant pelts they brought back, revealed to the world the commercial potential of this far-flung resource. The excluded scared off males gather in areas that do not have much contact with female sea otters. The last Canadian record was a specimen obtained near Kyuquot on Vancouver Island in 1929. The tail is about one-third the length of head and body; the River Otter's is about twothirds. The most common prey of Sea Otters are sea urchins, mussels, abalone, clams, scallops, crabs, sea snails, chitons, octopus, and squid. Otters in Washington and British Columbia, where populations are small and food is abundant, may spend as little as 10 or 15 percent of their day feeding, compared to 50 or 60 percent at Amchitka Island, where otter numbers are high and readily available foods have been exhausted. Otters might look soft and cuddly but remain dangerous wild animals. Seriously. Their foraging has thus had a profound influence on nearshore reef communities. The California population, a separate subspecies (variety) named the "Southern Sea Otter," is afforded additional Federal protection as a Threatened Species under the U.S. This nucleus has grown to over 900, distributed from Nootka Sound to Quatsino Sound, and is increasing. Following protection, the remnant Sea Otter populations increased gradually. Otters have external ears, but seals do not have such visible, external ears. B. Hatfield et al. Sea Otter fur, consisting of sparse guard hairs and dense, soft underfur, varies from dark brown to reddish brown. In contrast to whales and seals, which rely on their blubber for insulation, the Sea Otter relies on its wellgroomed fur with many tiny air bubbles trapped in it. Sea otters do not have blubber but have extremely thick fur. Prior to decimation by the fur trade, Sea Otters were found in a great arc around the North Pacific: from northern Japan via the coastlines of the Kuril Islands, Kamchatka, Commander and Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, south to the vicinity of Cedros Island, Mexico. The mating ritual resembles that of when a male otter copulates with a female otter. River Otters seldom occur in groups larger than a single family (although families can include three or four young), don't rest on their backs, and come ashore frequently. Male otters will find a juvenile harbor seal and mount it, as if he were mating with a female otter. Sea Otters Do Terrible Things To Baby Seals. Prior to exploitation, the worldwide population of Sea Otters was estimated at between 150 000 and 300 000. With their elevated metabolic rates, sea otters must consume large quantities of these invertebrates and thus they have high exposure rates to the associated parasites and pollutants. Interestingly, the predators do not actually feed on the otters. And then there's the rape. The near extinction and subsequent increase of Sea Otters has allowed researchers to study their effects on benthic (seabottom) plant and animal communities as they recolonized or were transplanted into vacant habitats. Other animals are noble and kind. Jul 24, 2019 - Explore Nana Hughes's board "Otters, Seals, Sea lions, & Walrus", followed by 659 people on Pinterest. Sign up today to get weekly science coverage direct to your inbox. Moreover, a large proportion of their diet consists of filter-feeding benthic invertebrates, which tend to concentrate both contaminants and disease-causing pathogens that flow into near-shore waters from land. Adult males weight between 22 and 45 kilograms and measure from 1.2 to 1.5 meters.On the other hand the adult females usually weigh between 14 and 33 kilograms, and their length varies from 1 to 1.4 meters.. Small amounts of oil, by affecting insulation, can cause hypothermia for Sea Otters, and any major spill, an ongoing threat on the B.C. Sea otters rarely eat fish, which are a favorite food of most seals. The flipperlike hindfeet have short, sparse fur. (Marine Mammal Science, 1994, vol. But the rest of nature? While it isn’t a widely held view, some believe that dolphins kill porpoises to practice killing baby dolphins. Sea Otters are frequently seen in large social groups, resting or feeding on their backs in offshore kelp beds. This may also happen in other areas. It is the only mammal other than the primates (monkeys, apes, humans) known to use tools. Chimpanzees are our closest cousins, so maybe it isn’t too much of a surprise that they would be included in this list. Seriously. Wrong. Sea otters and seals are in many ways different, but are also similar. Sea Otters walk awkwardly on land and even in water do not have the speed or agility of seals. Research has been undertaken there on effects of Sea Otters on marine communities. Harbor seals . Seals have a small coat of fur but are insulated from cold water primarily by layers of blubber. Also Know, do orcas eat sea otters? Air in the fur, together with large lungs (an adaptation for diving) cause Sea Otters to float high in the water. Otters are known to mate in the sea and give birth in the sea. Sea otters aren't even the scariest otters, believe it or not. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. The public is urged to support programs aimed at preserving this valuable member of our coastal fauna. The sea otters have a flexible skeleton and their face is small and round. Sea otters also rape baby seals to death. Male sea otters sometimes look outside their own species to inflict themselves on other animals. An Ecological Reserve covering all of Checleset Bay (the Sea Otter release site) was established by BC Parks in 1981, and harvest closures on many key shellfish eaten by the otters (clams, sea urchins, abalone) have been instituted in the reserve by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). 12. Females with small pups tend to be solitary and to act aggressively toward other otters. When lying face-up they move slowly by sculling the tail or paddling with one or both hindlimbs. Females are slightly smaller. When male sea otters reach sexual maturity, they will rape seal pups if there aren’t enough female seals to compete for. It is thought that the sea otters do this in frustration when they are unable to find a mate, so take out their frustrations on the hapless baby seal instead. They rarely go ashore, but when they do, they choose remote offshore reefs or bars. Otters have very soft, insulated underfur, which is protected by an outer layer of long guard hair. Georgia Strait may be unsuitable due to high summer water temperatures, particularly in its shallow nearshore waters, or because of pollution and human disturbance. As a result they require a high rate of food intake, up to 30% of their body weight per day, and they have limited capacity to cope with reduced food availability or additional physiological challenges. The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989 wiped out nearly half of the Sea Otters in the oiled area of the Sound; the much smaller Nestucca spill off Washington in 1988 killed at least one otter at Checleset Bay, 440 kilometres north of the spill site. The margay hides and then makes a screeching sound that sounds like a baby tamarin that has been injured. Even those traditionally seen as completely adorable. Well, they don't turn to seals like the otters do ... they just rape a male instead. It was sandwiched between them and unable to escape as they threw it in the air and pummeled it repeatedly. They share solid food with the pups shortly after birth, but larger pups aggressively take food from their mothers. Infanticide certainly isn’t uncommon and has already been mentioned a time or two in this list. However, a 150-year period of ruthless exploitation began with Vitus Bering's exploration of the Aleutians and Gulf of Alaska in 1741. Unlike most marine mammals, sea otters lack a thick layer of fat to insulate them from cold temperatures. Endangered Species Act. They look like little people in suits, and they waddle and have several children's films made about how sweet they are! 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