sea otter, Enhydra lutris

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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. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA, Enhydra lutris, natural history stock photograph, photo id 21695
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. 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: 21695
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.