sea otter, Enhydra lutris



A sea otter mother hold her pup on her stomach as she rests floating on her back.  This pup, just a few days old, probably weighs between 3 and 5 pounds.  The pup still has the fluffy fur it was born with, which traps so much fur the pup cannot dive and floats like a cork. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA, Enhydra lutris, natural history stock photograph, photo id 21696Add To Light Table
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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. Image #21606
A sea otter, resting on its back, holding its paw out of the water for warmth.  While the sea otter has extremely dense fur on its body, the fur is less dense on its head, arms and paws so it will hold these out of the cold water to conserve body heat. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA. Image #21602
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. Image #21612
Sea otters, resting on the surface by lying on their backs, in a group known as a raft. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA. Image #21604
A sea otter, resting on its back, grooms the fur on its head.  A sea otter depends on its fur to keep it warm and afloat, and must groom its fur frequently. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA. Image #21605
A sea otter resting, holding its paws out of the water to keep them warm and conserve body heat as it floats in cold ocean water. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA. Image #21607

A sea otter mother hold her pup on her stomach as she rests floating on her back. This pup, just a few days old, probably weighs between 3 and 5 pounds. The pup still has the fluffy fur it was born with, which traps so much fur the pup cannot dive and floats like a cork. Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA

Stock Photo: 21696
Species: Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
Location: Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing, California, USA
Format: Digital 3:2
Copyright © Phillip Colla, all rights reserved worldwide.
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Keywords: animal, animalia, california, california sea otter, caniformia, carnivora, chordata, elkhorn slough, elkhorn slough national estuarine research reserve, enhydra, enhydra lutris, lutrinae, lutris, mammal, mammalia, marine mammal, monterey bay national marine sanctuary, moss landing, mustelid, mustelidae, national marine sanctuaries, otter, sea otter, usa, vertebrata, vertebrate, wildlife

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