This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. Where Do Otters Fit in the Animal Food Chain? Sediment in parts of the bay is laced with methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls, toxic chemicals that accumulate in the clams, crabs and other animals that sea otters eat. These great hunters mainly dine on crustaceans (clams), amphibians, reptiles, fish, and critters (weasels). The activity of otters varies depending on different factors. At night, sea otters may choose either to sleep on land or simply to rest afloat near beds of kelp. About 13 otter species have been described. This is because they lack blubber or layer of fat under the skin (just like in other marine mammals) and so, they have to gorge on the food to keep themselves warm enough to survive. This mammal has also been known to dine on ducks, small birds (ducks), shrews, reptiles, swans, geese, mollusks, and coots. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T7750A21939518.en. Enhydra lutris. Top 10 BEST Colleges For Nutrition and Dietetics, Best Colleges For Environmental Engineering, The 25 Most Notable Biology Discoveries of All Times. At night, only the mothers tend to forage for food provisions while others may resume searching for food in the middle of the night. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). November 4, 2018 Kodiak Wildlife, Sea Otter Alaskan Sea Otters, Do sea otters eat fish, Kodiak Wildlife, Robin Barefield, Sea Mammals of Alaska, sea otter, What Do Sea Otters Eat admin As I told you last week, a sea otter burns calories at a rapid rate to help maintain its body temperature in its home in the cold North Pacific. This mammal is mainly aquatic and will mostly be found residing next to perennial or seasonal rivers. These carnivores eat a variety of seafood, such as fish, frogs, crayfish, crabs and mollusks. Fish, crustaceans, small anacondas, and caimans. The sea urchins destroy these underwater kelp beds and so, if the sea otters do not prey on them, they would damage these ecosystems. All Rights Reserved. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. Reptiles : Similarities and Differences, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-otters-eat.html/, Plasma Membrane Functions, Composition, & Structures. Those that have offspring may hunt more because it takes a great deal of milk to feed their young. Sea otters eat fish and marine invertebrates like crabs, urchins, sea stars, and abalone, as well as squid and octopuses. There is a unique skin pouch below its forelegs and across the chest. Because they are not exposed to predators, and do not have to forage for prey, they are provided with environmental enrichment in their habitat to keep them entertained. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. Once this otter identifies its potential victim, it captures it using its front feet and then brings it to the surface. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T7750A21939518. These are mostly distributed in almost every continent except for Australia and Antarctica. It prefers to eat invertebrates like crabs, snails, urchins, clams, abalone and mussels — for breakfast, lunch, dinner and between-meal snacks! The Eurasian otters have mastered the skill of holding their breath for a few seconds while underwater. When they are hungry for larger game, otters will … They have an interesting method of eating their prey. The absence of otters in their ecosystems would jeopardize the integrity of the watershed food webs and food chain. Instead of blubber to keep them warm in the cold Pacific Ocean, these marine mammals have the densest fur of any animal—up to 1 million hairs per square inch. Otters (both sea and river otters) play a notable role in the animal food chain. Vancouver Aquarium’s resident otters eat a variety of seafood – all restaurant-grade and Ocean Wise recommended. – White Tiger Evolution, What Do African Elephants Eat? The giant river otters have also been noted to feed on small anacondas and caimans. River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. From urchin to crab, worm and clam, oct... Sea otters eat A LOT of food. Besides, they also prefer to eat crabs, large barnacles, mussels, snails, tubeworms, clams, squid, octopuses, chitons, scallops, sea cucumbers, sea stars and abalone. These mammals have whiskers, which they use to spot their prey by detecting vibrations in the water. – Snow Leopard Lifespan, What Do Snow Leopards Eat? For instance, the river otters consume anything between. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. In fact, sea otters eating is what they're best known for—besides being extremely cute. Sea otters are provided a varied diet while in human care. Sea Otters 1. Humans have also been noted to hunt otters. It should be noted that the bodies of water than sea otters live near are generally less than 40 meters deep. If you have any suggestion or comment or anything you want to share at all, feel free to reach out by emailing at: If it finds a hard-shelled prey, the sea otter will hammer it against the rock. There, the sea otter eats while floating on its back, using its forepaws to tear food apart and bring it to its mouth. Otters are carnivorous. Sea otters eat a wide range of marine animals, including mussels, clams, urchins, abalone, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species, equaling approximately 25 percent of their weight in food each day, according to Defenders of Wildlife. It’s a matter of survival. How Many Babies Do They Have? Sea otters eat sea urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, snails and other 40 marine species. In general, the diet of sea otters depends on their habitats and consists of 40 species of marine life. Raccoons in Daylight, What Eats Arctic Foxes? The sea otter’s high metabolic rate helps them to stay warm – to fuel it each day, they have to eat 20-30% of their body weight in food! The younger otters are more vulnerable to predators who include but are not limited to coyotes, dogs, cougars, bears, and bobcats. Amphibians Vs. Floating there on its back, it uses its chest as a table. This species is well adapted to thrive in aquatic environments. What Do Sea Otters Eat? The main diet of the otter is made up of fish and crustaceans. A good portion of African clawless otter’s hunting is done under the water, particularly shallow water. They use the rock as a table against which they smash their shelled prey to g… 68 Different Types of Doctors & What They Do? This simply makes it safer for them to get food and give birth (sea otters are the only type of otter that deliver their babies in the water). You have entered an incorrect email address! What does a pencil sea urchin eat? What Do Otters Eat? Thus, the sea otter is one of the very few mammals to make an effective use of tools (t… – White Tiger Lifespan, Where Do White Tigers Come From? email@example.com, Co-author and co-founder of animalsanswers.com. All in all, the sea otter preys on at least 100 different marine species. In the animal kingdom, amphibians and reptiles are the most frequently interchanged; Here are the similarities & difference between amphibians and reptiles. What’s more, this unique pouch of skin can also carry a rock, which in turn, is used to pry open clams or shellfish thereby pulling out the meal from within. This inc… The otter diet consists mainly of fish and crawfish, but they also consume toads, frogs, reptiles, and even small mammals. Copyright © 1999-2021 BioExplorer.Net. The hunting strategy this otter uses is by submerging their heads in water to search for prey. However, most wild otters are carnivorous, with the sea otter being a tiny exception since it does include seaweed and kelp in its diet. Sea otters inhabit offshore waters and spend a lot of time in water while they usually dive up to 330 feet in search of bottom-dwelling species. Otters’ diets vary according to what season it is, where their habitat is situated, and even according to species. The primary diet of sea otters consists of aquatic invertebrates including crustaceans, sea urchins, mollusks and fish. Are Mice Blind? Anything that is small and has a shell is fair game. Although sea otters used to be found in more southern parts of North America, they were almost completely wiped out, so there isn’t much there anymore. They often eat sea urchins, mollusks, crabs, some kinds of fish, mussels, chitons, scallops, sea ears and stars. Do They Carry Diseases? Its diet consists of crabs, lobsters, insects, frogs, and a wide array of fish species. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. Can They See In The Dark? – African Elephant Range & Habitat, http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T7750A21939518.en. They will probably be wrapped in kelp beds. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. Some of these animals have hard shells, which protect them from predators. Where Do Raccoons Go During the Day? Sea Otters typically eat amphibians, smaller fish, mollusks, mussels, snails, and smaller underwater creatures. Raccoon Range and Raccoon Habitat, A Raccoon Out During the Day? Once they locate their prey, the giant river otters proceed to capture and consume them. As suggested by its name, the giant river otter is the largest otter species, and it is often referred to as the river wolf. The African clawless otters are crepuscular, meaning they can be found active and foraging during dusk and dawn hours. As prey, otters provide a great source of nutrients to animals that hunt them for food. Sea otters eat a wide variety of prey, including marine invertebrates such as echinoderms ( sea stars and sea urchins), crustaceans (e.g., crabs), cephalopods (e.g., squid), bivalves (clams, mussels, abalone), gastropods (snails), and chitons. They have a unique foraging habit because they use rocks to kill their prey. 2015. Still hungry, the otter dives below the surface again. They have a unique foraging habit because they use rocks to kill their prey. Can otters use tools? It uses its lower incisor teeth to access the meat in shellfish. Sea otters are very resourceful – a trait that helps them to survive. *. Sea otters eat up to 25% of their body weight every day. Where Do Raccoons Live? Upon returning to the surface, they float on their backs, with the rock on the stomachs. Captured prey is eaten at sea while the otter swims on its back. Within these seas, they are usually found in the vicinity of the shore (which is typically rocky). Interestingly, these great hunters can also dive into the water to find and ambush their prey. They are great swimmers, and on land, they can run at speeds of 15 miles an hour. Sea otters eat A LOT of food. Besides, they also prefer to eat crabs, large barnacles, mussels, snails, tubeworms, clams, squid, octopuses, chitons, scallops, sea cucumbers, sea stars and abalone. Can Mice Jump? In their role as predators, otters help regulate the local population of the organisms they consume. Sea urchins are also sought after by humans as a delicacy in some areas of the world. Its. Many fishermen like to use gear that will tangle the otters in order to get rid of the ‘competition’. They can spend up to five hours each day finding the food that they need in order to survive. A sea otter's diet consists mainly of slow-moving fishes and marine invertebrates including crabs, sea urchins, abalones, clams, mussels, and snails. This species has also been spotted in other parts of Europe, China, Eastern Russia, South East, and South Asia, as well as North Africa. The Eurasian otters use their sensitive whiskers in murky waters to detect their prey. Can Mice Climb Stairs and Walls? firstname.lastname@example.org Because Sea otters eat much of the same shellfish that humans do, so often they are in the same areas that fishermen are. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. It can chew and swallow small mussels with their shells, whereas large mussel shells may be twisted apart. It is used for storing the food as the animal picks off snails from the sea floor and brings them up to the water surface. Sea otters will eat virtually anything they can get their little paws on. Where Do Raccoons Sleep? | Snow Leopard Diet, What Do Malayan Tigers Eat? They aren’t vegetarians—they typically eat the things that eat the actual kelp (sea urchins). She eats small prey in the water, a large one – she takes it to the shore and eats it there. What do sea urchin eat is similar to what pencil sea urchin consumes. This metabolism needs to be continually stoked with energy in the form of food, and sea otters must consume as much as 25% of their body weight each day in order to stay warm and survive. The animalsanswers.com is a precise explanation of wild animals and how they adapt to their environment, for everyone, with all kinds of fascinating information presented in a readable format. They are known to eat clams, mussels, crabs, octopus, sea urchins, snails, and fat innkeeper worms. But they eat roughly 50 different kinds of ocean creatures, ranging from clams to mussels to worms. Two or more otter species occupying the same geographical area usually have different food habits. Thus, the sea otter is one of the very few mammals to make an effective use of tools (the other mammals are primates) and perhaps the only aquatic mammal to pick up rocks and catch fish by means of its forepaws. How often otters eat varies as long as they meet their average daily energy need. Sea otters can be found close to certain seas near Alaska, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and the country of Russia. When Do Raccoons Have Babies? Fish, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and crabs. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Sea otter feeds on fish, shellfish and crustaceans. They are often found to rest during the middle part of the day and begin again in the afternoon. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. A female Otter can spend up to 8 … – Tiger Running Speed, How Long Do White Tigers Live? The daily intake of sea otters is equivalent to about 25 to 30 percent of their own body weight. The Eurasian otter is found in abundance in the United Kingdom. They feed mainly on sea urchins, crabs, and various shellfish. Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. Are Mice Dangerous? All in all, the sea otter preys on at least 100 different marine species. This can be explained by the fact that river otters are among the most energetic animals in their niches. What do otters eat? Otters eat from 15% to 25% of their body weight each day. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea floor and devour the kelp forests that provide cover and food for many other marine animals. What do Otters Eat? The African clawless otter is carnivorous. This tail serves to propel the otters through water. Cite this article as: "What Do Otters Eat?," in. By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. – Complete Guide to African Elephant Diet, African Bush Elephant Habitat – Habitat Features & Characteristics, Where Do African Elephants Live? Once prey is detected, they proceed to capture and consume it. – Sumatran Tiger Diet & Eating Habits, How Fast Can a Tiger Run? They typically use … What Are The Building Blocks of Proteins? The giant river otters are excellent predators. Fish are also eaten. The 13 otter species are members of the Mustelidae, or weasel, family and live in and out of water.For example, river otters reside along streams and waterways in freshwater areas within North America, and endangered sea otter inhabit the coasts along the Northern Pacific Ocean. By eating sea urchins, the sea otter helps in conserving the kelp forests, one of the world’s most productive ecosystems. They prey on crustaceans by using pairs of rocks to crush the outer shells, easily accessing the soft flesh inside. Otters are mammals classified under the family Mustelidae. Sea Otter. But that isn't an issue for the talented sea otter, which cracks open the shells by … This section will sample out some of the different types of otters. Otters have some interesting relatives. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. & Burdin, A. – Arctic Fox Predators, How Long Do Arctic Foxes Live? This species is also considered to be the largest member of the Mustelid family, and this is because these mammals can grow to a length of 6 feet. The primary diet of sea otters consists of aquatic invertebrates including crustaceans, sea urchins, mollusks and fish. River otters belong to the weasel family. They also eat small mammals and birds. – Lifespan, How Long Do Snow Leopards Live? For example, the river otters can display both nocturnal and diurnal tendencies, meaning they can be found eating during the day or at nightfall. They are diurnal species and tend to forage for food during the initial hours of the daybreak. Sea otters By: Rhiannon Martin, Mackenzie Gatton, and Dallas Haase 2. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of … A minimal number of river otter predators exist in nature. Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. They open the shells of some of their prey, with stones and a piece of wood. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard ha… A sea otter may hunt on the seafloor but always returns to the surface to eat. Sea otters dive to rocky reefs, where they collect invertebrates and also a large rock.
- Otters eat fish and sea urchtens. Sea otters live in a cold ocean environment and rely on two traits to keep warm: a dense fur coat for insulation and very high metabolism to generate body heat. This mammal has also been known to dine on ducks. This time she comes back with some rock crabs. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. Sea otters are foragers that eat mostly hard-shelled invertebrates, including sea urchins and a variety of clams, mussels, and crabs. Food preferences vary among individuals. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. Their fur is thick a… The sea otters are the best-groomed animals at Shedd—and in the ocean. The sea urchin’s main predators are crabs, lobsters, starfish, eels, sea otters, birds, and a number of large fish. Doroff, A. Hunting for the Eurasian otter is a specialized task that calls for the use of their highly sensitive whiskers. They eat about 25% of their weight in food each day due to their accelerated metabolism. – Malayan Tiger Diet & Eating Habits, What Do Sumatran Tigers Eat? A good portion of African clawless otter’s hunting is done under the water, particularly shallow water. As the sea otter floats on its back, it rips the prey apart and dine on it through its forepaws. As suggested by its name, the African clawless otter is found in abundance in Africa. Dallas Haase 2 all otters use them all the time great swimmers, fat... Its lower incisor teeth to access the meat in shellfish uses its chest as a table done under the,... Urchins, abalone, as well as squid and octopuses the fact that river otters eat and. Is small and has a shell is fair game and in water Arctic. Have a unique foraging habit because they use to spot their prey by detecting in. The use of their prey, with the storage and handling of your data by this.! 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