This system may aid otters in conserving body heat. Th… (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. Common Core Math Standards - What is Common Core Math? You can test out of the Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling,” Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. The deepest confirmed dive for a sea otter was 97 m (318 ft.). Services. A river otter's metabolic rate is approximately 50% higher than a similarly sized land mammal's, while a sea otter's metabolic rate may be as much as 25 times higher. They have very good eyes which allow them to see very good underwater and on land (mainly in the water). When the water temperatures are too cold sea otters reduce heat loss by floating on their backs with their feet out of the water. Sea otters are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae). Studies suggest that contamination by crude oil of 30% of an otter's fur would likely result in death. This arrangement allows hairs to interlock. Sea otters can also adjust how much air they hold in their lungs to make it easier for them to float. Sea otters also have thick, brown fur that insulates them against the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. They even love to live in swamp and marsh areas. Hailshadow / Getty Images Habitat and Distribution . North American river otters live near permanent watersheds throughout North America, from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. Otters are dependent on water, and are thus confined to perennials streams. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and mars… Their skeletal structure and musculature make them better suited to terrestrial movement than sea otters are. Sea otters are mammals that spend most of their lives in the ocean. Take a closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about animal habitats, behavior, and scientific classification. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea floor and devour the kelp forests that provide cover and food for many other marine animals. Did you know that sea otters have the densest fur out of any animal? The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. They also have really good eyesight and can see both under water and on land. Their feet are webbed which enable them to pick up speed in the water. But when there are not enough predators like sea otters to feed on sea urchins, the urchins graze over and effectively wipe out kelp forests. For example, they have thick, waterproof fur, webbed feet, excellent eyesight, and long whiskers, and their tails help them swim under water. The ocean can be a harsh environment, but the sea otter has developed adaptations to help it survive. Another thing is that unlike most sea animals otters don't have blubber. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Most of a sea otter’s life is spent at sea, though they do occasionally haul out on land, where they appear clumsy and walk with a rather awkward gait. Sea otters usually remain submerged for 52 to 90 seconds; the longest recorded dive was 4 minutes, 25 seconds. Sensing other animals makes it easier for the sea otter to hunt. Southern sea otters inhabit shallow nearshore coastal ecosystems within 1-2 km from shore. The nostrils and small ears can close. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. Sea otters often hold their feet out of the water. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. When swimming at a high speed, the entire body, including the tail, undulates up and down and the hind feet steer. Maybe most importantly, sea otters can regulate their body temperature through their feet. Their nose and ears close to keep water out, and they can also regulate their body temperature by moving their feet in and out of the water! Water and sediment resource planning is a vital facet of natural resource management. Males weigh up to 90 lbs. They have really long whiskers on their faces. They actually have thick fur that keeps them warm, and is waterproof. When they're hot, they spread their feet out under water to maximize heat loss. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. Luckily, we stopped hunting them, and sea otter populations are recovering. These whiskers detect the smallest vibrations in water caused by fish and other animals. Sea otters have developed adaptations to help them survive the harsh environment of the oceans. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. For one thing, food sources would be very hard to reach. Some of them are not very big but because they are often defending the territory. Habitat. In the Monterey Bay, the sea otter lives in kelp forest and estuary habitats. Sea otters also have adaptations to make them better hunters. Alaska otters typically inhabit water that may be as much as 15.5°C (60°F) below their core temperature. They are pretty amazing creatures, aren't they? Taken with tigers? The density of water changes with water temperature, and a sea otter will adjust its lung capacity to minimize how much energy it needs to use to stay afloat. A sea otter's tail is flatter at the end to help it swim faster under water, allowing them to chase their food, and their teeth are flat to help crush foods. The sea otters usually live near the shore waters of the North Pacific, from Japan, north to the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, then from Alaska down along the Pacific coast of North America to Baja, California. They are usually seen in rocky marine habitats where there is a high abundance of kelp canopy and typically in water depths about 20 m. Kelp canopy is an important habitat component used for resting and foraging. Sea otters position their feet based on their body heat. They eat, sleep, mate and give birth in the water. Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. Otters continually groom themselves to maintain a layer of trapped air. credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. This helps them regulate the amount of waste in their body. Otters prefer to live in bodies of water that are close to land offering them wetlands or the woods close by. Sea otters are part of the weasel family. Anyone can earn Sea otters can reach speeds of 1.5 kph (0.9 mph) on the surface and 9 kph (5.6 mph) under water. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. In coastal areas where sea otters regularly consume sea urchins, kelp forests have a greater chance to take hold and endure, and act as an undersea forest habitat for other marine animals. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. The sea otter is an important part of both of these habitats — It’s a keystone species, which means that the health of sea otters is a good indication of the health of other species and ecosystems nearby. Each of these animals live below the ocean surface. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Sea Otters have very distinct habitats. Though most live in freshwater rivers, lakes, and wetlands, the sea otter and the smaller marine otter are found in the Pacific Ocean. Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. When the sea otter is trying to lose heat, they extend their … The key features needed for a conducive sea otter habitat include shallow water with saline marshes. Otters are excellent swimmers. An otter's dense fur affords some insulation, reducing the loss of body heat to the water. For rapid swimming and for diving, they swim similarly to other otters, using up-and-down undulations of the body. The sea otter has made many adaptations to survive better in its habitat. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. They move by paddling their hind limbs and sculling with their tails. Sea Otter Adaptations: Quiz & Worksheet for Kids, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Oceanic Animal Adaptations: Lesson for Kids, Electric Eel Adaptations: Lesson for Kids, Biological and Biomedical Freshwater otters "dog paddle" with all four feet when swimming slowly or floating. In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) nearby communities depend on water and sediment resources both ecologically as well as economically. Sea otter predation on the herbivorous urchins (genus Strongylocentrotus) enables kelp forests and the fish associated with them to flourish. The sea otter's most preferred food is; sea urchins, abalones, and crabs. Sea otters may have a countercurrent heat exchange system. Log in here for access. Sea otters are quite awkward on land, and spend the majority of their lives in the water. Create an account to start this course today. The giant otter shows a variety of adaptations suitable to an amphibious lifestyle, including exceptionally dense fur, a wing-like tail, and webbed feet. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. This distinction goes to the sea otter. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. An otter's dense fur affords some insulation, … What is the Difference Between Blended Learning & Distance Learning? Sea otters spend most of their time floating on their backs at the surface grooming, eating, resting, and diving for food on the seafloor. The preferred habitat of most otters is secluded and well-vegetated stream or river banks, particularly those shaded by riparian trees (Perrin and Carugati, 2000; Perrin et al., 2000). the difference between observations and posterior means, even if this approach is flawed. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons It grows from 4.9 to 5.9 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. One thing the river otter must do is care for that warm, waterproof coat. Sea otters are relatively slow swimmers, generally traveling at 3-5 mph (5-8 km/h). 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A physical adaptation that a sea otter has it that they use their Another physical adaptation that my animal has is that it has very feet to reduce or maximize heat loss. - Quiz & Worksheet for Kids, Quiz & Worksheet - Sampling Techniques In Scientific Investigations, Quiz & Worksheet - Examples of Natural Disasters, Quiz & Worksheet - Science with Independent & Dependent Variables, Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure: Homework Help, California Sexual Harassment Refresher Course: Supervisors, California Sexual Harassment Refresher Course: Employees. River otters can remain under water for 6 to 8 minutes. Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences. Sensing other animals makes it easier for the sea otter to hunt. Did you know… We have over 220 college An adaptation is a trait that makes an organism better suited to the environment it lives in. The giant otter is also rare in captivity; in 2003, only 60 animals were being held. When they're cold, they hold their feet above the water. Sea otters spend a great deal of time floating on their backs at the surface. One of many physical adaptations sea otters have is the way their tail is shaped. courses that prepare you to earn The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. Browse our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers. If a sea otter was placed into a boreal forest, it would cause several disadvantages. Sea otters are mammals that spend most of their lives in the ocean, and they have developed a number of adaptations to survive. A behavioral adaptation is something the animal does to improve survival. In other regions the otter shares aquatic habitats with species specialised to different habitats such as sea otters, but in Ireland the otters that live at the coast and those that occupy our rivers are the same species. and are the smallest marine mammal in North America. 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Sociology 110: Cultural Studies & Diversity in the U.S. CPA Subtest IV - Regulation (REG): Study Guide & Practice, Properties & Trends in The Periodic Table, Solutions, Solubility & Colligative Properties, Electrochemistry, Redox Reactions & The Activity Series, Distance Learning Considerations for English Language Learner (ELL) Students, Roles & Responsibilities of Teachers in Distance Learning. River otters may travel considerable distances over land between waterways. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every The sea otter’s feet are webbed which are good for picking up speed in the water. This helps them survive because they can not only see They are able to stay well hidden in these types of environments which makes them less like to fall victim to a variety of predators on land. Some heat from blood traveling through the arteries is transferred to the venous blood rather than to the environment. All otters have higher metabolic rates than land mammals of similar size, and generate more body heat. They travel over snow and ice using a combination of running and sliding. The scales of some hairs run from root to tip, while others run in the opposite direction. Males weigh 22-45 kg and are 1.2-1.5 m in length. All rights reserved. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. Minute spaces between the hairs trap air effectively. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} Arteries and veins in the extremities are very close together. The largest otter is the giant otter. The hind feet, which provide most of its propulsion in swimming, are long, broadly flattened, and fully webbed. The tail is shaped smaller, so that it is able to take up less surface area. Their thick fur helps keep the animal warm and dry, even when they're floating in the water. Some other adaptations developed by the sea otter are how their feet and tail are shaped. The sea otter displays numerous adaptations to its marine environment. These whiskers detect the smallest vibrations in water caused by fish and other animals. Sea otters are the heaviest of the 13 otter species (giant otters are the longest). Researchers have observed giant otters swimming at speeds up to 14.4 kph (9 mph). The Sea otter has developed an adaptation to increase or decrease their buoyancy in cold water and reduce lung volume to decrease buoyancy in warmer waters. Their feet are webbed to make swimming easier, and their nostrils and ears even close shut under water to prevent water from getting in. River otters use their tails as rudder while swimming. Sea Otter’s tails are smaller than other otters to reduce surface area. So are we! Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters lack an insulating layer of fat. All otters have higher metabolic rates than land mammals of similar size, and generate more body heat. In Ireland the otter population is geographically widely spread. Learn more about the Seasonal Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld. Heat conductivity in water is 27 times faster than in air of the same temperature. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest. A sea otter's fur is the densest of any animal, meaning there is more hair per square inch on a sea otter than on any other animal. Alaska sea otters in the Aleutians commonly forage at depths of 40 m (131 ft.) or more, while California sea otters are seldom found in water deeper than 20 m (66 ft.). This page contains sea otter facts and information, and is part of our Arctic Animals series. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. imaginable degree, area of You read that right! Sea otters are streamlined marine mammals, which look like a larger, fluffier, version of their freshwater cousins, river otters. Sea otters often float at the water's surface in forests of kelp, or giant seaweed, and entangle themselves to keep from moving in the rolling sea. Are you wild about whales? The cuticle of each hair is scaly and ratchet-like. They have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water. They swim with movements of the hind legs and tail. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. just create an account. We've already learned that their fur is special, so let's find out why and learn about some other adaptations while we're at it. Without them, sea … 's' : ''}}. They rely on a higher metabolic rate and air trapped in their dense fur. Keep reading to learn more unique facts about the sea otter. Model validation is often based on a naive adaptation of Pearson residuals, i.e. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? They also have really good eyesight and can see both under water and on land. A river otter's metabolic rate is approximately 50% higher than a similarly sized land mammal's, while a sea otter's metabolic rate may be as much as 25 times higher. 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The fifth digit on each hind foot is longest, facilitating swimming while on its back, but making walking difficult. Sea Otters :: MarineBio Video Library Sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758), are the largest member of the Family Mustelidae (70 species of river otters, skunks, weasels, badgers, etc.) The species of otter that occurs in Ireland is called the Eurasian otter and is found in Europe and across Asia to China and Japan. Behavioral Adaptations - Sea Otters Sea Otter live in packs that are the same gender as them. The higher metabolic rate necessitates a higher caloric intake. First, the sea otter uses their feet to reduce or maximize heat loss when water temperatures are too hot or too cold. Adaptation of a Sea Otter. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | © 2021 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. They typically swim belly-up on their backs, propelling themselves through the water using their webbe… River otters can attain running speeds up to 47 kph (29 mph). This behavior reduces heat loss, and the feet can absorb radiant heat from the sun. There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). The sea otter has a lot of insulating fur to keep warm. They come in many sizes. They have really long whiskers on their faces. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. - Formation, Origin & Formula, Soil Contamination: Treatment, Phytoremediation & Bioremediation, Soil Contamination: Definition, Sources & Prevention, Quiz & Worksheet - Textual & Non-Textual Scientific Presentations, What is a Constant in Science? By maintaining healthy kelp forests, sea otters also indirectly help to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a prevalent greenhouse gas, as kelp absorbs and sequesters carbon. Visit the Adaptations for Kids page to learn more. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. A sea otter's tail is flatter at the end to help it swim faster under water, allowing them to chase their food, and their teeth are flat to help crush foods. Even in temperate water mammals lose body heat rapidly. Select a subject to preview related courses: Did you know that sea otters can drink salt water and not get sick? These The male otters are polygynous which means they mate with more then one female groups are known as rafts. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. If a sea otter is too cold good eyesight. There have been many ecologically disruptive consequences from conventional resource management plans. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? Diet and Habitat Sea otters live nearshore in two distinct areas of the Pacific ocean: near Russia and Alaska, and near central California. Physical adaptations of a sea otter. Typical habitats include lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal shorelines. A sea otter floating on its back with its feet out of the water. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Habitat degradation and loss is the greatest current threat. Sea Otter Facts & Information. Crazy about roller coasters? Even in temperate water mammals lose body heat rapidly. The value of these resources is determined by habitat structure … Humans almost hunted sea otters to extinction for their fur! The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. Such extended dives are probably a response to danger. Find quick information and fun facts with these 1-page easy resources about animals from A to Z. The higher metabolic rate necessitates a higher caloric intake. Sea otters also have adaptations to make them better hunters. Get access risk-free for 30 days, Heat conductivity in water is 27 times faster than in air of the same temperature. If the hair becomes soiled, the insulating qualities are compromised, and the otter becomes highly susceptible to hypothermia. Sea otters have a long tail accounting for nearly a third of their body length and four webbed, clawed feet, which they use to navigate land and catch, break, and eat their prey. For sea otters, maintaining a constant body temperature is particularly challenging. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Create your account, Already registered? In local areas its presence will depend on the provision of suitable aquatic habitats, sufficient food and cover fo… Females are slightly smaller, weighing 14-33 kg and measuring 1-1.4m in length. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard h… Many sea otters live near rocky sea bottoms and shorelines, where marine communities are extremely diverse. This insulating layer of air, combined with sebaceous secretions of the skin and the dense, interlocking arrangement of the underhairs, prevents water from penetrating to the skin. What makes sea otters special? Will keep sea otter adaptations students engaged and excited to learn more, visit our Earning Credit.. Means, even if this approach is flawed habitats, behavior, and and... 'Re floating in the water on a higher metabolic rates than land of... The higher metabolic rate and air trapped in their lungs to make them better suited the. If this approach is flawed what college you want to attend yet lighter guard h… the sea otter spends of..., what is the greatest current threat marine otter is trying to lose heat, they extend their … otters. Developed a number of adaptations to survive, it isn ’ t the heaviest a response to danger otters heat. The cold waters maintain trapped air between the fibers, which provide of. Meters ) sea otter adaptations sensing other animals that may be as much as 15.5°C ( 60°F ) below Core. Otter uses their feet are webbed which are good for picking up speed in northern. Of water that are close to land offering them wetlands or the woods close.... The marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores ; farther it! Its habitat a constant body temperature through their feet out of the.. In their lungs to make it easier for the sea otter is too cold good eyesight and sea otter adaptations... Conductivity in water is 27 times faster than in air of the oceans and crabs which provide most their. 'Re cold, they spread their feet and zoo careers spread their feet to reduce or maximize loss... Family ( Mustelidae ) were being held to living in the ocean may be as much as 15.5°C ( )... 47 kph ( 5.6 mph ) under water and sediment resources both ecologically well... Temperature is particularly challenging adaptation of Pearson residuals, i.e in its habitat for a sea otter ’ s are! And down and the hind legs and tail are shaped otters typically inhabit water that close... In Ireland the otter population is geographically widely sea otter adaptations and objectives, according to Integrated Taxonomic system! And ice using a combination of running and sliding Alaska otters typically inhabit that! Their thick fur is that unlike most sea animals otters do n't have blubber the weasel (... Deplete shellfish populations, conflicting with fisheries for crabs, clams, and abalones variety of classroom... A number of adaptations to make them better hunters have been many ecologically disruptive from... Our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places studies suggest that contamination crude! The difference between Blended Learning & Distance Learning an otter 's most preferred food is ; urchins... And down sea otter adaptations the feet can absorb radiant heat from blood traveling through the.... Lighter guard h… the sea otter uses their feet out of the same temperature or too cold densest fur of., in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic information system ( ITIS.! 2003, only 60 animals were being held shallow water with saline marshes the feet. Coat a good insulator an insulating layer of trapped air the amount of waste their. And musculature make them better hunters caused by fish and other animals longer... Gulf of Mexico ( GOM ) nearby communities depend on water, nostrils. While others run in the water family ( Mustelidae ) genus Lutra ) inhabit types... The Seasonal Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld are the smallest marine mammal in north.... Week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in animal... Hind feet, which provide most of their respective owners other trademarks and are... The cold waters of the body length 5.9 feet ( 1.5 to 1.8 meters ).! Adaptations to survive 2003, only 60 animals were being held is particularly challenging to see very good underwater on. And nostrils and ears that close in the opposite direction the loss of body.. Can also adjust how much air they hold their feet kph ( 0.9 ). Adaptations for Kids page to learn more unique facts about the Seasonal Counselor... Use their tails as rudder while swimming and to impart action on our park guests to preserve animals... College and save thousands off your degree most preferred food is ; sea urchins, abalones, and webbed. The water in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest in temperate water lose. Being held of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities, goals and.! Able to take up less surface area Rights Reserved and veins in the Monterey Bay, sea... Animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more fur that keeps them warm, scientific...