River otters can remain under water for 6 to 8 minutes. A sea otter floating on its back with its feet out of the water. Males weigh 22-45 kg and are 1.2-1.5 m in length. Southern sea otters inhabit shallow nearshore coastal ecosystems within 1-2 km from shore. Sea otters can reach speeds of 1.5 kph (0.9 mph) on the surface and 9 kph (5.6 mph) under water. This system may aid otters in conserving body heat. 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. This helps them survive because they can not only see 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. 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. Sea Otter’s tails are smaller than other otters to reduce surface area. 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. You can test out of the Heat conductivity in water is 27 times faster than in air of the same temperature. In the Monterey Bay, the sea otter lives in kelp forest and estuary habitats. All otters have higher metabolic rates than land mammals of similar size, and generate more body heat. Sea otters spend most of their time floating on their backs at the surface grooming, eating, resting, and diving for food on the seafloor. just create an account. Create an account to start this course today. They also have really good eyesight and can see both under water and on land. Take a closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about animal habitats, behavior, and scientific classification. - Definition, Types & Properties, Aluminum Hydroxide: Formula & Side Effects, What is Dolomitization? Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. These The male otters are polygynous which means they mate with more then one female groups are known as rafts. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. Are you wild about whales? and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you. Even in temperate water mammals lose body heat rapidly. Physical adaptations of a sea otter. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. One of many physical adaptations sea otters have is the way their tail is shaped. Females are slightly smaller, weighing 14-33 kg and measuring 1-1.4m in length. Sea otters are relatively slow swimmers, generally traveling at 3-5 mph (5-8 km/h). Alaska otters typically inhabit water that may be as much as 15.5°C (60°F) below their core temperature. This arrangement allows hairs to interlock. 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. {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | Did you know that sea otters have the densest fur out of any animal? The fifth digit on each hind foot is longest, facilitating swimming while on its back, but making walking difficult. Adaptation of a Sea Otter. Each of these animals live below the ocean surface. Taken with tigers? Such extended dives are probably a response to danger. An adaptation is a trait that makes an organism better suited to the environment it lives in. They move by paddling their hind limbs and sculling with their tails. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Sea otters are quite awkward on land, and spend the majority of their lives in the water. 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! Browse our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers. Sea otters are the heaviest of the 13 otter species (giant otters are the longest). Studies suggest that contamination by crude oil of 30% of an otter's fur would likely result in death. River otters may travel considerable distances over land between waterways. It does this by rolling in snow and grooming to maintain trapped air between the fibers, which makes the coat a good insulator. Researchers have observed giant otters swimming at speeds up to 14.4 kph (9 mph). 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). The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences. The value of these resources is determined by habitat structure … 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 In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) nearby communities depend on water and sediment resources both ecologically as well as economically. What is the Difference Between Blended Learning & Distance Learning? So are we! All rights reserved. This behavior reduces heat loss, and the feet can absorb radiant heat from the sun. courses that prepare you to earn Sea otters are part of the weasel family. If the hair becomes soiled, the insulating qualities are compromised, and the otter becomes highly susceptible to hypothermia. 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. Sea otters spend a great deal of time floating on their backs at the surface. North American river otters live near permanent watersheds throughout North America, from Alaska and northern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico. Get access risk-free for 30 days, Sea otters can also adjust how much air they hold in their lungs to make it easier for them to float. 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.). 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. 's' : ''}}. The giant otter is also rare in captivity; in 2003, only 60 animals were being held. Sea otter predation on the herbivorous urchins (genus Strongylocentrotus) enables kelp forests and the fish associated with them to flourish. The higher metabolic rate necessitates a higher caloric intake. High School Algebra II: Tutoring Solution, Praxis Social Studies - Content Knowledge (5081): Study Guide & Practice, CSET Business - Macroeconomics: Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Figurative Language: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5, Quiz & Worksheet - Parabola Intercept Form, Quiz & Worksheet - Calculating Percentage Increase and Decrease, Quiz & Worksheet - Product of Prime Factor Practice Problems, Quiz & Worksheet - Global Environmental Law & International Treaties, The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, Non-Pharmacological Pain Management Techniques, Coordinate Geometry Lesson Plan & Activities, Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers, Health and Medicine - Questions & Answers, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. Model validation is often based on a naive adaptation of Pearson residuals, i.e. Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. The hind feet, which provide most of its propulsion in swimming, are long, broadly flattened, and fully webbed. 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. This page contains sea otter facts and information, and is part of our Arctic Animals series. The tail is shaped smaller, so that it is able to take up less surface area. If a sea otter is too cold good eyesight. Their skeletal structure and musculature make them better suited to terrestrial movement than sea otters are. 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. Sea otters may have a countercurrent heat exchange system. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. These whiskers detect the smallest vibrations in water caused by fish and other animals. They are pretty amazing creatures, aren't they? The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. Maybe most importantly, sea otters can regulate their body temperature through their feet. 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). Without them, sea … Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and mars… Habitat and Range. Select a subject to preview related courses: Did you know that sea otters can drink salt water and not get sick? Sea otters' bodies have developed over the years to get used to living in the water. Sensing other animals makes it easier for the sea otter to hunt. They eat, sleep, mate and give birth in the water. Sea otters also have thick, brown fur that insulates them against the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. There have been many ecologically disruptive consequences from conventional resource management plans. 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. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. They rely on a higher metabolic rate and air trapped in their dense fur. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard h… They also have really good eyesight and can see both under water and on land. When they're hot, they spread their feet out under water to maximize heat loss. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} Create your account, Already registered? Habitat. Anyone can earn Otters are dependent on water, and are thus confined to perennials streams. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters lack an insulating layer of fat. Some heat from blood traveling through the arteries is transferred to the venous blood rather than to the environment. Sea Otters have very distinct habitats. Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Sensing other animals makes it easier for the sea otter to hunt. This helps them regulate the amount of waste in their body. Sea Otter Facts & Information. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. 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. Log in here for access. Diet and Habitat Sea otters live nearshore in two distinct areas of the Pacific ocean: near Russia and Alaska, and near central California. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal 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. Freshwater otters "dog paddle" with all four feet when swimming slowly or floating. They swim with movements of the hind legs and tail. River otters can attain running speeds up to 47 kph (29 mph). The cuticle of each hair is scaly and ratchet-like. In local areas its presence will depend on the provision of suitable aquatic habitats, sufficient food and cover fo… To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. What makes sea otters special? Sea otters often hold their feet out of the water. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. They have really long whiskers on their faces. Keep reading to learn more unique facts about the sea otter. 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. The nostrils and small ears can close. Sea otters are mammals that spend most of their lives in the ocean. First, the sea otter uses their feet to reduce or maximize heat loss when water temperatures are too hot or too cold. Behavioral Adaptations - Sea Otters Sea Otter live in packs that are the same gender as them. Th… The sea otter has made many adaptations to survive better in its habitat. Their thick fur helps keep the animal warm and dry, even when they're floating in the water. The scales of some hairs run from root to tip, while others run in the opposite direction. The giant otter shows a variety of adaptations suitable to an amphibious lifestyle, including exceptionally dense fur, a wing-like tail, and webbed feet. 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. When swimming at a high speed, the entire body, including the tail, undulates up and down and the hind feet steer. The largest otter is the giant otter. Some other adaptations developed by the sea otter are how their feet and tail are shaped. Sea otters are mammals that spend most of their lives in the ocean, and they have developed a number of adaptations to survive. imaginable degree, area of A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. For example, they have thick, waterproof fur, webbed feet, excellent eyesight, and long whiskers, and their tails help them swim under water. Humans almost hunted sea otters to extinction for their fur! Some of them are not very big but because they are often defending the territory. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. These whiskers detect the smallest vibrations in water caused by fish and other animals. They even love to live in swamp and marsh areas. Services. The ocean can be a harsh environment, but the sea otter has developed adaptations to help it survive. One thing the river otter must do is care for that warm, waterproof coat. 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. When the sea otter is trying to lose heat, they extend their … Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. Another thing is that unlike most sea animals otters don't have blubber. Find quick information and fun facts with these 1-page easy resources about animals from A to Z. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. Otters prefer to live in bodies of water that are close to land offering them wetlands or the woods close by. Did you know… We have over 220 college They have four legs to move easily on land, and a long tail to swim through the water. When they're cold, they hold their feet above the water. Common Core Math Standards - What is Common Core Math? Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. They have really long whiskers on their faces. Their feet are webbed to make swimming easier, and their nostrils and ears even close shut under water to prevent water from getting in. The sea otter displays numerous adaptations to its marine environment. (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… Males weigh up to 90 lbs. They travel over snow and ice using a combination of running and sliding. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. They come in many sizes. Sea otters position their feet based on their body heat. Animal Nurse: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook, Schools for Aspiring Animal Nutritionists: How to Choose, Laboratory Animal Veterinarian: Job Description and Requirements, Animal Handler Careers: Job Options and Education Requirements, Animal Reproduction Jobs: Career Options and Requirements, Animal Specialist: Job Description and Education Requirements, Animal Care Careers: Job Options, Duties and Requirements, Animal Nutritionist: Job Description, Duties and Salary, Animal Behavior Careers: Job Options and Requirements, Animal Physiologist: Job Description, Duties and Requirements, Best Bachelor's Degrees in Behavioral Science, How to Become a Genealogist: Education & Certification Requirements, Animal Care Technician: Job Description and Education Requirements, Graduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law, Online Secondary English Teacher Certification and Certificate Programs, Online Civil Engineering Graduate Program Options, Aquatic Animal Adaptations for Elementary School, Reptile & Amphibian Adaptations for Elementary School, Introduction to Environmental Science: Help and Review, DSST Health & Human Development: Study Guide & Test Prep, Principles of Health: Certificate Program, DSST Principles of Physical Science: Study Guide & Test Prep, UExcel Basic Genetics: Study Guide & Test Prep, Introduction to Genetics: Certificate Program, Principles of Physical Science: Certificate Program, Introduction to Nutrition: Certificate Program, UExcel Science of Nutrition: Study Guide & Test Prep, UExcel Weather and Climate: Study Guide & Test Prep, What is a Gem? There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). This distinction goes to the sea otter. 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. A behavioral adaptation is something the animal does to improve survival. Crazy about roller coasters? An otter's dense fur affords some insulation, reducing the loss of body heat to the water. 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. 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.) 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. Arteries and veins in the extremities are very close together. 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. © 2021 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Water and sediment resource planning is a vital facet of natural resource management. 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. Their feet are webbed which enable them to pick up speed in the water. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. They typically swim belly-up on their backs, propelling themselves through the water using their webbe… They actually have thick fur that keeps them warm, and is waterproof. - 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? the difference between observations and posterior means, even if this approach is flawed. Luckily, we stopped hunting them, and sea otter populations are recovering. Visit the Adaptations for Kids page to learn more. Minute spaces between the hairs trap air effectively. They have webbed feet, water-repellent fur to keep them dry and warm, and nostrils and ears that close in the water. You read that right! credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. However, large numbers of sea otters can deplete shellfish populations, conflicting with fisheries for crabs, clams, and abalones.