Ocean Species Profile: Sea Otter

Hey, there! My name is Otto, and I'm a sea otter! Did you know that otters are a member of the weasel family? We like to spend time along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean. The biggest ocean, of course! You might see one of us hanging out, floating around on the surface of the water. We even nap there, tangling ourselves up in kelp, so we don't float away. When I'm not taking a nap, I'm probably doing some personal grooming. I like to keep a clean coat. All otters do! Our coats are pretty important to us. It keeps us waterproof and insulated against the chilly waters, so we can stay dry and warm. Each square inch of otter fur can have up to a million individual hairs, which makes our coats super soft and thick. At one point, otters were nearly hunted to extinction for our furs. Luckily, otter hunting is now illegal!

Family and friends are some of the most important things to us otters. We are very social creatures, spending time in large groups. We like to swim, play, and sunbathe in groups, but mostly, we like to eat. An otter can eat up to 25 - 30% of our body weight in a single day! We use rocks as tools to break open clams and abalone. Sometimes I even use my armpits to carry around extra food when I go diving. They always say it's important to maintain a healthy diet!