Enhydra lutris

Habitat: Typically found in or near kelp beds, otters will "haul" out on land, never straying more than a few feet from the water.

Average adult size: Male otters grow to be larger than females. The males can grow to 4 and a half feet long and 100 pounds.

Natural history: Male otters usually are separated from the females and young for most of the year. They come together during the breeding season, in summer and fall. Otters are completely at home in the water, while on the land they are slow and clumsy walkers. A female otter generally has her first pup when she is 4 years old. She is pregnant for eight months. By the time they are 6 months old, pups are independent, foraging for their own food. Otters eat clams, sea urchins, abalone and crabs. They frequently use rocks or hard shells as tools to break open their prey. Sea otters can live to be more than 20 years old.

Range: in central California from Santa Cruz to Pismo Beach.

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