10 More Amazing Sea Otter Facts

sea otter facts
Sea Otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

10 More Amazing Sea Otter Facts

1. Sea Otters, under the (United States) Endangered Species Act of 1977, are considered “threatened with extinction.” Sea otters technically are not an endangered species.

2. Sea Otters can dive up to 5 minutes, and average 60 feet deep (but can dive up to 300 feet).

3. Sea Otters were thought to be extinct from fur hunting until a raft of up 32 individuals was found off of Big Sur, California in 1938.

4. Sea Otter senses: good vision above and below water, acute sense of taste and smell, use paws to feel for prey, groom, and use tools, use whiskers to sense vibrations in the seawater.

5. Sea Otters wrap themselves and their pups up in kelp fronds while sleeping so they do not drift away.

6. Besides predators (humans, great white sharks, killer whales), up to 40% of southern sea otters die from disease and parasites. One prevalent parasite, Toxoplasma gondii is found in cat feces (don’t flush cat litter!).

7. Sea Otters are considered a keystone species, because they keep in check (by eating) the sea urchins that devour kelp (they also “help” mitigate global warming).

8. Sea Otters spend most of their day grooming, foraging, eating, and sleeping.

9. Sea Otters’ metabolic rate is 2-3x greater than other mammals their size (they must eat 25% of their body weight a day).

And the last sea otter fact is:
10. Sea Otters are related to skunks and weasels.

Please see previous post 10 Amazing Facts About Sea Otters
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