Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)
Sea otters are the smallest marine mammals on Earth. They have well-rounded teeth adapted for crushing shells of crabs, urchins and other invertebrates. They use rocks as tools to dislodge prey and break open their food and tend to stay in open waters gathering and "rafting" together in groups.
Size: Up to 4 feet; up to 50 pounds for females and 70 pounds for males
Lifespan: 23 years
Diet: Bottom dwelling invertebrates such as crabs, clams, urchins, squid and octopus
Distribution: California, from San Mateo County in the north to near Santa Barbara in the south
Journey to Monterey Bay: Year-round residents
Did You Know?
● They have the densest fur in the animal kingdom — a million hairs per square inch.
● They wrap themselves in kelp while sleeping to stop themselves from drifting away in rough seas.
Animal facts courtesy of the BBC and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Explore more at www.montereybayaquarium.org.