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Sea Otters Line North American Coasts

Sea otters are found in North America, and they are interesting and valuable animals because they act differently than other sea creatures.

Along the coast of North America, sea otters often spend their time bobbing on their backs doing many activities. They can look for their own food and they can brush their fur.

Sea otters hangout with family and friends. They hold onto each other so they don’t get separated, which is called rafting. For example, “If the otters on the outskirts of the raft become alert, the rest of the group will perk up too,” says biologist Angela Doroff.

Sea otters were almost hunted to extinction for their thick fur. Their fur is thicker than any other animal, so humans hunted them. However, because they are now protected, they are recovering but still face other threats. Sea otters are now being hunted by orcas. Scientists believe that sea otters are the whale’s new meal of choice because they are having trouble finding seals and sea lions, which is their vival prey.

Sea otters are a very important animal. They help protect sea kelp forests because they eat the sea urchins that harm the forests. Without sea otters to keep the hungry sea urchin population under control, the kelp forests could be eaten to a point of no return.

[Source: National Geographic Kids]