[2015] Eva Stone: Sea Otters!!!

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[2015] Eva Stone: Sea Otters!!!

Sea otters!An endangered speciesInformational Report by: Eva

Habitat:This amazing animal obviously lives in the sea, or ocean.They like to be near kelp, because the kelp helps them from floating away with the swift waters flowing by. After they wrap themselves up, it looks like the otters are using it as a blanket! They are found along the coasts of North America and Asia. Many sea otters live in rocky ocean bottoms or shorelines. They mostly live where there is mud and sand. They like bays and inlets and stay where water is less than 130 ft. deep. Last of all, sea otters do not migrate.

Description:These incredable creatures have slightly webbed feet for swimming. They have water repellent fur with a thick under layer that traps air to form an insulating layer against cold waters. That way, they can withstand almost every single temperature! They are about 48 inches wide and have little built in pockets under their arms. Sea otters are the only marine mammals without a layer of blubber. These cute fuzzy animals have very sharp teeth. In fact, they are extremely fuzzy! They have up to 250,000-1,000,000 hairs!

Diet:Sea otters have a special diet. They eat mussels, shellfish, urchins, crabs, squid, octopus, fish, clams, abalone, snails, sea stars, and even fat innkeeper worms! Many people say that sea otters are carnivores, but that is wrong. They are actually omnivores, because they also eat seaweed and other aquatic plants. Whenever they are hungry, they dive to catch some food.

Noise:Sea otters make a lot of strange sounds, grunts, and noises. They coo, grunt, and whine. They also growl, snarl, and even whistle! If they are being harmed by a predator, mostly by a human, they sometimes hiss.

Sea otters are incredibly social animals. They float together in groups separated by gender called "rafts". Most of their life is spent at sea, but part may take place on land. They are not very fast swimmers, but they are equally active both day and night. Sea otters are part of the weasel family. They have 70 animal species in relation. Sea otters will only give birth and some other things too in the water.Their life span is 23 years maximum, and can be almost black, silver, or light brown. Newborn pups cannot sink or dive, thank goodness how convenient that is! Sea otters are one of the few animals that use tools. They mostly use rocks, to open clams and such, but they have also been caught using glass bottles and cement blocks, and even other things that are usually very dangerous for other organisms in the sea otter habitat, or really anywhere!

Sadly, sea otters are hunted for fur, and sometimes food. In the 20th century, only 1-2,000 of them had remained. At that time, they were very close to extinction! They die from oil spills, too. A sea otter's predators are people, great white sharks, killer whales (also endangered species), bears and eagles. People are trying to protect these otters. At this moment, there are more of them then there were before. They are still on the endangered list, but they are being saved.

Researchers are working hard to get a better understanding of what is threatening sea otters, so that we can find better ways to recover them. Oil spills are the most serious threat. We are working hard to figure out the best way to save these creatures. Lets hope they keep populating just as they are! By the 1930s, a small group of 50 to 300 sea otters remained. From the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, the southern sea otter population began to go down again. They are rising at this moment.



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