Sea Otter Facts

Sea Otter Groups

Sea otters float in what we call rafts. 

These rafts are usually gender-based, meaning boy sea otters like to hang out together and girl sea otters like to hang out together. 

Female sea otters raise their pups without assistance from males.

Sometimes sea otters like to hold hands.  Holding hands allows sea otters to keep their delicate paw pads warm. 

Sea otters float in what are called rafts

Southern sea otter #530 with her male pup

Sea otter pups

Sea otter pups are born with a buoyant fur that does not allow them to sink. They float like corks on top of the water unable to dive and therefore, are completely dependent on the mother sea otter.

Sea otter pup fur is known as a lanugo. A lanugo is a very soft, downy hair that develops in humans as well as animals. 

Sea otter pup fur is shed by the time they are approximately 13 weeks old. 

Sea otter pups are born with 26 baby teeth; 10 of which are visible.

Sea otters need to eat a lot each day

Sea otter diet

Sea otters eat frequently throughout the day. 

Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters have no blubber, so they must consume 25-30% of their body weight every day in order to survive in their cold Pacific Ocean habitat. 

Sea otters eat mainly invertebrates and bivalve animals.  Some of their favorite meals consist of:

  • sea urchins
  • abalone
  • clams
  • crabs
  • mussels
  • sea stars
  • fat innkeeper worms

Ensuring the survival of sea otters in their habitats.