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A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California Speckled sanddab, which can alter its color and pattern to better camoflage itself against the sandy bottom on which it lies, Citharichthys stigmaeus Speckled sanddab, which can alter its color and pattern to better camoflage itself against the sandy bottom on which it lies, Citharichthys stigmaeus Speckled sanddab, which can alter its color and pattern to better camoflage itself against the sandy bottom on which it lies, Citharichthys stigmaeus Squid egg casings.  Each casing housings hundreds of tiny squid eggs.  After the female squid has planted her egg casings to the sandy bottom, she will die, Loligo opalescens Sand, water and light Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Squid mating and laying eggs, eggs on sandy bottom, Loligo opalescens, La Jolla, California Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Water patterns Water, sand and light, Sea of Cortez, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns, Sea of Cortez, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico Sand ripples Sand ripples Sand, water and light Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Sand, water and light Sunlight spreads across broad sand plains, trochoidal patterns Squid egg masses attached to sandy bottom, Loligo opalescens, La Jolla, California Mating squid and egg masses attached to sandy bottom, Loligo opalescens, La Jolla, California Videographer films mating squid and egg masses attached to sandy bottom, Loligo opalescens, La Jolla, California Sand, water and light Sand, water and light Water, sand and light, Sea of Cortez, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico Sand ripples Sand ripples Sand, water and light Sand, water and light Sand, water and light A starfish (sea star) on the sandy bottom, Pisaster giganteus, Santa Barbara Island French grunts over a sandy bottom and sea fans.  Northern Bahamas A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California A sea otter eats a clam that it has taken from the shallow sandy bottom of Elkhorn Slough.  Because sea otters have such a high metabolic rate, they eat up to 30% of their body weight each day in the form of clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and abalone.  Sea otters are the only known tool-using marine mammal, using a stone or old shell to open the shells of their prey as they float on their backs, Enhydra lutris, Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California

Updated: May 18, 2021