Sea Otters

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    Yet another treat on our whale watching trip from Tofino .... there were so many of these adorable sea otters in the kelp beds in this one area, most of them were in pairs floating and bobbing around in the ocean swells. Better seen in Full Screen but a bit grainy as this is a huge crop to begin with. (Original image below in the comments)

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    The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (30 and 100 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. 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. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter lives mostly in the ocean.

    The sea otter inhabits offshore environments, where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems. Its diet includes prey species that are also valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries.

    Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals in a fraction of their historic range.[2] A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species now occupies about two-thirds of its former range. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species.

    Foto.Bloke, Levels Nature, Steve-h, and 23 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. Foto.Bloke 33 months ago | reply

      From a friend of River of Light
      This wonderful image deserves a River of Light Award

    2. Lynn English 33 months ago | reply

      Now this is something I never get to see, Brenda. Great look of nature.

    3. Katrin Ray 33 months ago | reply

      Beautifully captured cute sea creatures, Brenda! :-)
      Hope you are enjoying your weekend, dear!

    4. Foto.Bloke 33 months ago | reply

      Truly This MUST be "The Chosen One"
      You Deserve Another Award
      The Chosen One Award
      The Chosen One Post 1 Award 2

    5. Takako off 32 months ago | reply

      Fantastic Capture!
      Seen in:
      Dreams I'll dream.. (Post 1 - Award 3)

      If you receive 5+ Awards Post your photo here:
      If you receive 8+ Awards Post your photo here:
      If you receive 10+ Awards Post your photo here:
      If you receive 12+ Awards Post your photo here:

    6. Foto.Bloke 32 months ago | reply

      Good morning, BB! ;-)

    7. Art.Mary 32 months ago | reply

      a href="">
      Seen and enjoyed in:
      Alice's Secret Garden (Post 1 - Award 2)

    8. Eyesplash - What happened to winter 32 months ago | reply

      I was watching a sealion swim past everyone while waiting for the fireworks.
      Seen on your photo stream. ( ?² )

    9. Happy Shuttering 32 months ago | reply

      From a friend of River of Light
      This wonderful image deserves a River of Light Award

    10. El2deepblue 32 months ago | reply

      Brenda, such a wonderful image.
      I LOVE Seaotters too and I can imagine
      your joy to watch them. :-)
      The Original image is beautiful too..
      Sincer yesterday evening I try to comment on this
      lovely photo, finally I made it!
      The server is so often down, sometimes
      when I try to comment... it takes a long
      time. Hugs, my dear friend.

    11. ninja nan1 32 months ago | reply

      Great capture, what a lovely sight!!

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