At birth, pups are approximately 2 feet (.6 m) in length and weigh 4-5 lbs (2-2.3 kg). Sea otter males can be just plain mean. Female otters can give birth at any time of the … They are also seen playing with their offspring, teaching them valuable skills, and protecting them with their own life. Individuals typically remain solitary, however groups are often formed while resting. Northern sea otters can get up to 100 pounds. Other vocalizations include:  coos and grunts, which occur when an animal is eating or when content, as in the case of a pair-bonded couple during courtship;  whines occur when an animal is frustrated, as in the case of an older pup wanting to suckle or an adult male attempting to mate with an uninterested female;  growls, snarls, whistles and hisses can be heard when an animal is frightened or distressed, as in the case of a captured otter. Their home ranges are smaller because they have higher metabolic costs while pregnant and raising their pup. Sea otters were hunted extensively for their luxurious pelts during the 18th and 19th centuries, significantly reducing the original population whose numbers were estimated by historians to have been around 16,000 animals. These marine inhabitants have their own unique characteristics that affect our minds. 9.) Male sea otters are very territorial, which leads to the stronger males establishing themselves in areas with high numbers of females. Although difficult to hear from shore, sea otters exhibit a variety of vocal behaviors. After these fisheries were controlled, otter numbers began to increase once again, until the mid 1990s, when increased mortality in adults caused the population to again decrease. (19.8 kg). The northern and southern edges of the range are largely male dominated areas, consisting of juvenile, subadult and adult males. Females, on the other hand, are sedentary by nature, generally staying within 10 – 20 miles of their home ranges. The mother carries the pup on its chest for the first two months, where it is constantly groomed and protected from the cold water. The season for mating depends on the region where they live. Even after they are caught, female sea otters vigorously resist mating. Even with the excellent care provided, pups are very vulnerable during the first year of life. Numbers climbed from the 1930s until the 1980s, when gill net and trammel fisheries caused their numbers to decline again. Otters are animals that display a moderate amount of sexual dimorphism. Size Alaskan sea otters are slightly larger than California sea otters Female: Female Alaskan sea otters measure up to 140 cm (55 in.) California Sea Otter Strandings, 1985-2017. The current population of southern sea otters descended from a small surviving group of approximately 50 animals discovered off the Big Sur coastline in the early 1900s. The second subspecies of northern sea otter, E. lutris lutris, inhabits the Commander Islands of the Bering Sea, the coasts of the southeastern Kamchatka Peninsula and the Kuril Islands in Russia, and the northern coast of Japan. Females otters nature at 3 years of age and males at age 5. They are born throughout the year. The male sea otters will swim around and search for females in oestrus . Strange as it may seem, mating is a relatively common cause of death for female sea otters as well. Sea otters naturally inhabit offshore areas with an abundance of food and kelp canopy. A grooming bout occurs before and after each foraging bout. Scientists also attribute a substantial percentage of southern sea otter mortality to infectious diseases, many of which are known to have anthropogenic causes and land-to-sea linkages. Otter Breeding and Reproduction. Sea otter mating fact: male sea otters bite a female’s nose during mating, perhaps to keep hold of her in a watery environment. The fur consists of two layers. It belongs to the order Carnivora and the family Mustelidae. If they are born on land then they are moved to the den by the mother. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard h… More than 80 percent of southern sea otters live within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Male sea otters live between ten and 15 years, while females live slightly longer, to 15-20 years. The species is considered a keystone species because of their critical importance to the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem. During a grooming bout, which generally occurs directly after a foraging bout (a period of time in which diving and eating takes place) or resting bout, the animal can be seen somersaulting, twisting and turning, and meticulously rubbing its fur at the water surface. They depend on their mother for everything. Approximately 32% of them won’t live to be a year old. Pups begin to dive and forage at about 2 months, although nursing continues until weaning. A top layer of long, waterproof guard hairs helps to keep the underfur layer dry by keeping cold water away from the skin. If cold ocean water reaches their skin, it will immediately begin to draw heat out of the animal, which disrupts the animal’s ability to thermoregulate and will ultimately lead to hypothermia and death. Pregnancy in the female sea-otter begins with a delay, the embryo first passes a latent phase lasting 2-3 months, during which it does not attach to the uterine wall (about 100 different species of mammals possess this feature; allows the mother’s body to choose the best metabolic period for pregnancy itself). When they are encountered by a female the male tries to embrace her or sniff her body. One way that females show their interest is by rolling around with the male. The males are polygynous as they may take up multiple female partners. 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