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southern sea otter

[10] In comparison to cetaceans, sirenians, and pinnipeds, which entered the water approximately 50, 40, and 20 million years ago, respectively, the sea otter is a relative newcomer to a marine existence. Scientific Name: Enhydra Lutris. In marine protected areas, polluting activities such as dumping of waste and oil drilling are typically prohibited. Of these, about 19,000 are at the Kurils, 2,000 to 3,500 at Kamchatka and another 5,000 to 5,500 at the Commander Islands. Adventure behind-the-scenes of the dolphin theater where you'll to get to meet our dolphins face to face. That … Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. [97] Population estimates made between 2004 and 2007 give a worldwide total of approximately 107,000 sea otters.[16][98][99][100][101]. The pattern of disappearances is consistent with a rise in predation, but there has been no direct evidence of orcas preying on sea otters to any significant extent. [16] Originally named Lutra marina, it underwent numerous name changes before being accepted as Enhydra lutris in 1922. [63] During this time, males patrol the boundaries of their territories to exclude other males,[63] although actual fighting is rare. [16] Sea otters can thoroughly remove abalone from an area except for specimens in deep rock crevices,[149] however, they never completely wipe out a prey species from an area. [65] Females coo when they are apparently content; males may grunt instead. [26] With up to 150,000 strands of hair per square centimetre (nearly one million per sq in), its fur is the densest of any animal. [160] The Aleut population was reduced, by the Russians' own estimate, from 20,000 to 2,000. This allows space for competing species and increases species diversity.[153]. [34] The bones show osteosclerosis, increasing their density to reduce buoyancy. [30] In adults, the head, throat, and chest are lighter in color than the rest of the body. ", "Divergent Skull Morphology Supports Two Trophic Specializations in Otters (Lutrinae)", "Bone Inner Structure Suggests Increasing Aquatic Adaptations in Desmostylia (Mammalia, Afrotheria)", "USFWS Species Profile: Southern sea otter (, "Lesions and Behavior Associated with Forced Copulation of Juvenile Pacific Harbor Seals (, Population dynamics and present status of sea otters (, "Sea Otters – Southwest Alaska Sea Otter Recovery Team (SWAKSORT)", "British Columbia: Sea Otter Research Expedition", "California otters rebound, but remain at risk", "Trends in the Abundance and Distribution of Sea Otters (, "Sea Otter Recovery on Vancouver Island's West Coast", "Sea otter's stay raises scientists' hopes", "Bixby Creek Bridge on Highway One from the Pat Hathaway Photo Collection", "Spring 2007 Mainland California Sea Otter Survey Results", "Are sea otters taking a bite out of California's Dungeness crab season? Sea otter is found along coastal areas of the northern Pacific Ocean and the southern Bering Sea. From 1969 to 1972, 89 sea otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Climate Change – KQED/QUEST (2014)", "Aquatic Species at Risk – Species Profile – Sea Otter", "Parasite Shed in Cat Feces Kills Sea Otters – California Sea Grant", "Aleutian Sea Otter population falls 70% in eight years", National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "National Marine Sanctuaries Regulations", "Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary History", "Historical Ecology of Late Holocene Sea Otters (, "Seattle Aquarium's Youngest Sea Otter Lootas Becomes a Mom", "Vancouver Aquarium's oldest sea otter, Nyac, passes", De Bestiis Marinis, or, The Beasts of the Sea (1751), Precipice of Survival: The Southern Sea Otter, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sea_otter&oldid=998917440, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2020, Articles containing potentially dated statements from January 2015, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 16:59. Above: Aleut carving of a sea otter hunt on a whalebone spear. [121], Sea otters are a classic example of a keystone species; their presence affects the ecosystem more profoundly than their size and numbers would suggest. Hunting records researched by historian Adele Ogden place the westernmost limit of the hunting grounds off the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and the easternmost limit off Punta Morro Hermosa about 21.5 miles (34.6 km) south of Punta Eugenia, Baja California's westernmost headland in Mexico. The Nuu-chah-nulth, Haida, and other First Nations of coastal British Columbia used the warm and luxurious pelts as chiefs' regalia. [183], Left: Aleut sea otter amulet in the form of a mother with pup. In, Treaty for the Preservation and Protection of Fur Seals, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, tribes on the Pacific coast of North America, "Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae: resolving relationships, tempo and biogeographic history of a mammalian adaptive radiation", "Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae: Resolving relationships, tempo and biogeographic history of a mammalian adaptive radiation", "Building large trees by combining phylogenetic information: a complete phylogeny of the extant Carnivora (Mammalia)", "Washington State Periodic Status Review for the Sea Otter", "Do differences in skull morphology and bite performance explain dietary specialization in sea otters? [63] As autumn is the peak breeding season in most areas, males typically defend their territory only from spring to autumn. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species. Bald eagles have … [174] The round, expressive face and soft, furry body of the sea otter are depicted in a wide variety of souvenirs, postcards, clothing, and stuffed toys. [26] Most of its need for water is met through food, although, in contrast to most other marine mammals, it also drinks seawater. [126], When the USFWS implemented the translocation program, it also attempted, in 1986, to implement "zonal management" of the Californian population. 2000, Tinker et al. (29.5 kg) and adult females average 45 lbs. As members of the weasel or mustelid family, southern sea otters are the smallest marine mammal. [33] The tail is fairly short, thick, slightly flattened, and muscular. [105] In 2008, Canada determined the status of sea otters to be "special concern". In the eastern Pacific Ocean, E. l. kenyoni, the northern sea otter, is found from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Oregon and E. l. nereis, the southern sea otter, is native to central and southern California. [69] Gestation appears to vary from four to twelve months, as the species is capable of delayed implantation followed by four months of pregnancy. Sea otters currently have stable populations in parts of the Russian east coast, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and California, with reports of recolonizations in Mexico and Japan. Southern sea otters can live to approximately 15 years for males and 16 years for females. During the mating season, the male bites the snout of the female in a display of courting behavior. The only member of the genus Enhydra, the sea otter is so different from other mustelid species that, as recently … Once common along most of the coastal North Pacific Ocean from Japan to California, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was hunted to the verge of extinction for its prized pelt. (1.8-2.3 kg). [3] When underwater, its body is long and streamlined, with the short forelimbs pressed closely against the chest. In this pouch (preferentially the left one), the animal stores collected food to bring to the surface. [123] Then, in response to lawsuits filed by the Santa Barbara-based Environmental Defense Center and the Otter Project, on 19 December 2012 the USFWS declared that the "no otter zone" experiment was a failure, and will protect the otters re-colonizing the coast south of Point Conception as threatened species. Genetic analysis of most of these animals were consistent with California, i.e. [75] The milk from a sea otter's two abdominal nipples is rich in fat and more similar to the milk of other marine mammals than to that of other mustelids. The majority of the southern sea otter’s teeth are flattened molars for crushing and chewing shelled, invertebrate prey. [111] Two sea otters were observed about one mile north of the Winchuck River off the Southern Oregon coast on July 13, 2020. The sea otter was formerly sometimes referred to as the "sea beaver",[19] being the marine fur-bearer similar in commercial value to the terrestrial beaver. [144], In a few northern areas, fish are also eaten. [129], Although the southern sea otter's range has continuously expanded from the remnant population of about 50 individuals in Big Sur since protection in 1911, from 2007 to 2010, the otter population and its range contracted and since 2010 has made little progress. Sea otter pelts were given in potlatches to mark coming-of-age ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. Adult males are highly territorial during breeding season and will not permit other males to enter their territory. Hatch, David R. (2002) Elakha: Sea Otters, Native People, and European Colonization in the North Pacific. Southern Sea Otter . [150] A 2007 Californian study demonstrated, in areas where food was relatively scarce, a wider variety of prey was consumed. To manage the competition between sea otters and fisheries, it declared an "otter-free zone" stretching from Point Conception to the Mexican border. It must eat 20% to 25% of its body weight every day to maintain normal body temperature, so it will spend much of the day foraging. [153] The role of sea otters in maintaining kelp forests has been observed to be more important in areas of open coast than in more protected bays and estuaries. [77] Pups born to experienced mothers have the highest survival rates. 41 years later and counting, their conservation status remains unchanged and their future uncertain. In 1970 and 1971, a total of 95 sea otters were transplanted from Amchitka Island, Alaska to the Southern Oregon coast. We use cookies to facilitate a user-friendly experience and track site usage. [56] There, the sea otter eats while floating on its back, using its forepaws to tear food apart and bring it to its mouth. Reported sightings of sea otters in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound almost always turn out to be North American river otters, which are commonly seen along the seashore. [63] Males that do not have territories tend to congregate in large, male-only groups,[63] and swim through female areas when searching for a mate. [169] However, the IUCN still lists the sea otter as an endangered species, and describes the significant threats to sea otters as oil pollution, predation by orcas, poaching, and conflicts with fisheries – sea otters can drown if entangled in fishing gear. [71] In 1911, Russia, Japan, Great Britain (for Canada) and the United States signed the Treaty for the Preservation and Protection of Fur Seals, imposing a moratorium on the harvesting of sea otters. Potential current threats to this protected subspecies include entanglement in fishing nets, oil spills and predation by the great white shark. However, temporary pair-bonding occurs for a few days between a female in estrus and her mate. The tail is short in comparison to those of other otters. Dive into the world of dolphins during our awe-inspiring and educational dolphin presentation. The otter has a set of canine teeth as well.

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