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Mother sea otter with rare twin baby pups | by mikebaird
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Mother sea otter with rare twin baby pups

Mother sea otter with rare twin baby pups, presumed to have been born just one or two days earlier on June 23-24, 2013. Photo taken 24 June 2013, Morro Bay, CA. AKA Southern sea otter and California sea otter, Subspecies E. l. nereis, Coast of Central California.



Added to Wikipedia 9/12/13 by Pete Tillman (thanks!)

Mother sea otter with rare twin baby pups "Added to

--as the second-lead photo"


Here is a Wired Magazine article covering my photos of the twin sea otter pups -


AOL's Huffington Post also covered my sea otter twins story on 7/1/2013..


Wiki says “Birth usually takes place in the water and typically produces a single pup weighing 1.4 to 2.3 kg (3 to 5 lb). Twins occur in 2% of births; however, usually only one pup survives. At birth, the eyes are open, ten teeth are visible, and the pup has a thick coat of baby fur. Mothers have been observed to lick and fluff a newborn for hours; after grooming, the pup's fur retains so much air, the pup floats like a cork and cannot dive. The fluffy baby fur is replaced by adult fur after about 13 weeks.” says “Female sea otters give birth to their pups under water. In most cases only one pup is born; rarely, a female sea otter gives birth to twins. Because a mother otter cannot care for two pups, one of the twins will die. For the first couple months of an otter pup’s life, he lives on his mother’s belly. She protects the pup from predators, grooms him and feeds him. Male otters do not assist in care of the young.” says “Typically, there is only one pup per pregnancy. On the rare occasion of twins, the mother can only raise one. Her food requirements are large, and so are the pups. The mother would have a hard time getting enough food for two additional mouths. Unlike the river otter, the sea otter mother is the pup's cradle, protection, and home for the first months of its life. The mother would only have room for one pup.”


Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris), from a raft of about 25, Mostly Females, many being Moms with their pups (often plopped on their Mom’s tummy), near Target Rock in the Morro Bay Harbor, where the Sea Otters almost always hang out, just SE of Morro Rock, 24 June 2013, Morro Bay, CA.


Photo © 2013 “Mike” Michael L. Baird, mike {at] mikebaird d o t com,, Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 600mm f/4 telephoto lens, with no circular polarizer filter on a GZGT5540LS Gitzo tripod with Wimberley Head II with leveling base, IS on. GPS encoding and compass direction realtime from an on-camera Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver. Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash on tall bracket, E-TTL +2 2/3rds flash compensation, as no better beamer was available. Some photos taken with with Canon EF 1.4X III Extender Telephoto Accessory (see EXIF for specifics).

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Taken on June 24, 2013