A sea otter floats on the surface of the bay between diving for snacks. Sea otters hunt for their food in short dives. They eat a variety of shellfish including, clams, oysters, mussels and sea urchin.
As a keystone species and top predators, they play a very important role in the health of kelp forests and the marine ecosystem along the Pacific coast of the United States. They were hunted to near extinction for the fur trade during the 19th century. Despite protections having been put in place, they still face many threats and their numbers have been slow to recover. They are particularly vulnerable to oil spills for much the same reason they were so highly sought after for their fur. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters don't have blubber to keep them warm. They rely on an extremely dense fur that has a long waterproof outer layer, covering a thicker underlayer of shorter fur and an air compartment close to the skin. The Long hairs help to keep the water away from the skin while the shorter fur and air compartment tap body heat. When exposed to an oil spill this process fails and the otters are no longer able to properly insulate from the cold.
A portion of proceeds from all of my marine mammal collection will be donated to help support marine wildlife conservation.
March 22nd, 2022
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