Sea Otter and her pup – Alaska 2020

Sea Otter and her pup. We spent quite some time watching this adorable Sea Otter pup and its mother. They are endearing little creatures.

Births occur year round but but peak in May and June. This was filmed in February. Remarkably gestation varies from 4-12 months beacuse of delayed implantation. Pregancy lasts around four months. Birth occurs in the water usually yielding a single pup which can weigh up to 2.3kg. Twins occur about 2% of the time. However, it is not surprising that only one pup survives.

Mating can be a rough process with males biting the female on the muzzle often resulting in scaring. Males have multiple female partners.

Sea Otters have the densest fur in the animal kingdom: up to 150,000 strands per square centimetre. As a consequence, they were hunted extensively for their fur and the world population fell from up to 300,00 individulas to as few as 1,000–2,000 individuals and they almost disappeared.

It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, molluscs and crustaceans. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy. It uses rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells making it one of the few mammal species to use tools.

Adult sea otters are one of smallest marine mammal yet can weigh up to 45 kg, making them the heaviest members of mustelid family.