Sea otter

They can sleep in the sea by lying on their backs and floating on the surface of the water

Mike Michael L. Baird

Seldom leave the water, sea otter is the heaviest weasel and the lightest marine mammal. They have a thick coat, undercoat, and a layer of longer guard hairs. This enables them to trap air and act as an insulating layer to keep them warm. After eating, they clean their coat with teeth and paws to help the coat to keep the coat waterproof and insulated against the cold.

On sea, they push themselves with their hind feet and paddle-like tail; on land – they walk on all fours.

They were once hunted excessively, reducing the population number from 300,000 animals in the 1700s to only 2,000 animals in the early 20th century, which makes them on the brink of extinction. Currently, they are protected by laws but are still listed as Endangered.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Canada
2020
Japan
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Mexico
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Russia
2020
United States
2020

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No