Sea Otters – The Kelp Crusader

Often seen floating on their backs at the ocean surface in social groups called “rafts”, this smallest of marine mammals has the densest fur of any animal on the planet. Unlike other marine mammals, the Sea Otter has no blubber but instead two coats of fur that help insulate it from the cold waters of the Pacific coast where it lives.

Spending most of it’s life in the ocean (though some do come ashore) it is the only otter that gives birth in the water. A Sea Otter’s diet includes sea urchins – a natural threat to kelp. By controlling the sea urchins’ population, Sea Otters help maintain a healthy ecosystem by enabling the kelp forests to thrive.

Check out the Sea Otter’s freshwater relative here.

Sea Otter painting

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