Sea Otter, Animal, Wildlife, Otter

One of the most popular spots in the zoo will be viewing the sea otter; facts about this fascinating mammal are just as interesting as watching them perform.

Sea otters are members of the weasel family. While the weasel is a monster most people associate as threats to their farm fowl, the sea otter is one that many folks ooh and aah over as they see the antics of the little mammal.

Their webbed hind feet help them to swim swiftly through the water as they seek their prey on the ocean floor; their clawed front feet help them grip the prey and maintain it firmly as they return to the water’s surface. When they are not hunting or feeding, otter facts prove that they like simply floating at the surface of the water. In actuality, this is the pose they assume to sleep; often draping sea kelp over their bodies as a way of holding them steady in the water as they sleep. It is not uncommon to find groups of these bobbing around in the water at a group nap.

Clams and mussels are also favorites, but they prove a bit more challenging to eat due to the hard, closed shells of those aquatics. Difficult, maybe; but not in any way impossible for the otter. Facts show that the mammal is so smart that, when on the ocean floor scooping up the shelled delicacies, they also snag a stone before returning to the surface. Flipping onto their backs, the sea otters set the stone on their bellies and begin to crush the clam or mussel upon the stone to open it and feast on its contents.

After ingestion, a cleaning ritual starts. Sea otter details about the thick, waterproof coat worn with the mammal demonstrate that cleanliness is vital in maintaining that quality in addition to the insulating factor. Unlike similar creatures that share the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, otters don’t have an insulating layer of fat functions to keep others warm.

Those adorable little faces upturned as they float along the water, and their habits of using rocks to open clam shells are just some of the sea otter facts that people find endearing. Luckily, the sea otter, once hunted for its jacket, is now protected by law; ensuring they will be around for quite a long time for future generations to enjoy.

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