IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Sunday January 5, 2014
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Food Chain
Information Sheet
Species Description

Otter Education Resources

Sea Otters

Ed the Otter

Sea otters are the most aquatic of all otter species, and are considered the smallest marine mammal. They live in the north Pacific, from California to northern Japan. Although they can breed throughout the year, weather, location and food supply determine how often this happens. A female sea otter is pregnant for between 4 and 12 months, depending on location and food supply! They have the densest fur of all mammals. Unlike all other marine mammals, they do not have a layer of blubber to keep them warm, but rely on their fur, which is why they spend so long grooming it, and blowing air into it. Sea otters eat clams, urchins and crabs, and break them open by hammering them against a flat stone which they hold on their chest. They live in big groups called "rafts", which range from 12 to over a thousand otters!

Photo Courtesy of Nicole Duplaix