Sea Otters

May 18, 2024

A new study offers a fuller understanding of the tool use by the Sea otters and utilizing rocks and other objects to break open hard prey by them.

About Sea Otters:

  • It is a aquatic member of the weasel family, found along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia.
  • Habitat: It spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest.
  • Appearance: Sea otters have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm and nostrils and ears that close in the water.
  • They generally eat food equal to about a quarter of their body weight daily as they prowl kelp forests and seagrass beds.
  • Ecological significance
    • It’s a keystone species, which means that the health of sea otters is a good indication of the health of other species and ecosystems nearby.
    • It plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems. By preying on sea urchins, they help control the population of these spiny creatures.
    • Without otters, sea urchins can overpopulate and decimate kelp forests. These kelp forests are vital habitats for a myriad of marine life, offering shelter and food for numerous species.
    • The presence of sea otters helps sustain the biodiversity and health of these underwater forests.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN Red List: Endangered