Sea otters mating, Enhydra lutris

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Sea otters mating.  The male holds the female's head or nose with his jaws during copulation. Visible scars are often present on females from this behavior.  Sea otters have a polygynous mating system. Many males actively defend territories and will mate with females that inhabit their territory or seek out females in estrus if no territory is established. Males and females typically bond for the duration of estrus, or about 3 days. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA, Enhydra lutris, natural history stock photograph, photo id 21606
Sea otters mating. The male holds the female's head or nose with his jaws during copulation. Visible scars are often present on females from this behavior. Sea otters have a polygynous mating system. Many males actively defend territories and will mate with females that inhabit their territory or seek out females in estrus if no territory is established. Males and females typically bond for the duration of estrus, or about 3 days. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA

Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California
Image ID: 21606
Format: Digital 3:2
Copyright ©Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.
This professional quality stock photo can be licensed in high resolution form by contacting the photographer: Phillip Colla, photos@oceanlight.com, (760) 707-7153, more info and photographer bio.