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Sea Otter - Sea Otters Adorable but Threatened Threatened...

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Sea Otters: Sea Otters: Adorable but Adorable but Threatened Threatened Sentinel Species at Risk Sentinel Species at Risk Due to Pollution and Over-fishing Due to Pollution and Over-fishing By Jim Fiddes By Jim Fiddes Danbury HS & PNWBOCES, Yorktown, NY Danbury HS & PNWBOCES, Yorktown, NY
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Threats to Sea Otter Population Disease : EPM & toxoplasmosis Contaminants: in water & in prey Starvation: hi food need Entanglement & Entrapment: lines/nets Predation Oil Spills: ExValdez 5K Difficult Environment
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Sea Otter Biology Enhydra lutris; Mustelidae 150K Alaska; 1.3K Calif. >60 lbs; >20 years; >4’ long high metabolism: 20% body weight in food daily; 3x human dense fur: ~100K/sq in; grooming critical semi-retractable claws; rear outside toe is longest lungs 2x : other mammals whiskers locate prey, feel vibrations
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Sea Otter Anatomy Muscles for grasping & swimming; side to side on back, vertical flexible spine, longer outer toe; hips hold legs for swimming, more than walking
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Sea Otter Biology 2 Body temp: 100 F. hold paws & feet up to conserve heat extremely flexible spine; can reach all body to groom-- no blubber, oils & bubbles in fur insulate pouches near back feet to store food tool user: breaks shells with rock, on sternum can dive to 300’; 4 minutes
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Sea Otter Biology 3 Related to weasels & skunks Social learning: mother teaches pup foraging skills; recognizes unique pup’s call playful & intelligent as dogs “raft” = group of sea otters strong jaws & sharp teeth: canines to break, incisors to scoop meat from shells frequent short naps, feed day & night
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Sea Otter Ecology 1
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Sea Otter Ecology 2
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Sea Otter Ecology 3
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Sea Otter Ecology 4 rugged coastline steep shore contour bay collects run-off
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