Otters are members of the weasel family. About 5-7 million years
ago ancestors of the sea otter returned to the sea to feed on the
abundance of ocean life. Unlike most other sea mammals sea otters
do not have a layer of blubber to keep them warm in the cold coastal
waters. Otters have a thick coat of fur, one million hairs per inch
of fur. Otters constantly fluff their fur to trap air for insulating
them against the cold water.
Otters tend to grow white patches on their head as they grow older.
Large male otters can grow to be over 4 feet in length, and weigh
nearly 85 lbs. Females are much smaller weighing nearly 60 lbs.
and reaching a length of 4 feet.
Sea Otters use rocks as tools to crack hard shells and other invertebrates
that they feed on.
Otters are equipped with pouches or flaps of skin under each front
leg that they use to store food while foraging. Otters sleep by
anchoring themselves in giant kelp fronds. Otters often seek refuge
among the giant kelp in stormy weather.
is thought that the only natural predator of sea otters are sharks.
The range of the California Sea Otter is concentrated along a 200
mile stretch of the central coast.