You can read here many interesting sea otter facts for kids. Sea otters are the smallest marine mammals and one of the largest species of otter in the world. They have the thickest fur in the animal kingdom and are also the heaviest members in weasel family. They spend almost their entire time in water. They sleep or rest and even give birth to pups underwater. Let us discuss some of the most fascinating sea otter facts and information.
Sea Otter Facts for Kids
The sea otter has long whiskers and water-repellent coat that insulates the animal from freezing water. Its ears and nostrils are closed down in water. It has short tail and webbed-feet with retractable front claws.
Generally, the male sea otters grows from 3.11 to 4.11 feet in length and weighs around 49 to 99 pounds. The female sea otters are smaller as they grow up to 4.7 feet in length and weigh up to 73 pounds. At birth, the weight of a pup is 3 to 5 pounds.
The size of the California (or southern) sea otters is about 4 feet. The males of this subspecies weigh around 65 pounds while females are 45 pounds in weight. The northern sea otters can weigh as much as 100 pounds.
Sea Otter Lifespan: The lifespan of the male sea otters is about 10 to 15 years while the females live for about 15 to 20 years.
A female sea otter matures at the age of 3 to 4 years while the males reach maturity at 5 years. The pups of California sea otters are nursed for about 6 to 8 months while those of Alaskan sea otters, this period is 4 to 12 months. The peak season for giving births is from May to June for the Alaskan sea otters while it is from January to March for the California sea otters.
The normal litter size of sea otters consists of only one pup. However, it is not uncommon to have twins. The mother nurses her pups for about 3 to 6 months.
Where Do Sea Otters Live? They inhabit shallow coastal waters of the eastern and northern pacific. They are found along the coasts of Alaska, California and Russia. Sea otters are distributed across North America and Russia. In North America, they are found from Aleutian Islands to the Prince William Sound (IUCN Redlist).
What Do Sea Otters Eat? Sea otters feed almost exclusively on marine invertebrates. These include mussels, clams, sea urchins, snails, mollusks, crustaceans and bivalves. Apart from these, they also tend to eat larger prey like giant octopuses and crabs. They eat almost one-fourth of their own weight.
The sea otters are not very pleasant to the taste and so, they are not quite often eaten by predators. However, the young sea otters may be killed by predators like killer whales, sea lions, great white sharks and bald eagles. When they come ashore, they are more vulnerable to predators like coyotes and brown bears. (IUCN Redlist)