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Sea Otter Facts For Kids

Adorable, Smart, and Playful...


Beyond The Obvious


Looking beyond sea otters' adorable qualities, there is a bounty of interesting information surrounding these creatures. While beginning my research for our Sea Otter homeschool study, I didn't have to dive very deep before discovering awesome facts about their habits, diet, and adaptations.


Without surprise, sea otters are quite impressive, and taking time to explore them with my kiddos was going to be beyond fun and educational. Being as how I always include themed learning activities around our weekly topic, I wanted to use some key characteristics of sea otters to build out our lesson and core learning concepts.


Sure, I could present my kids with a list of facts, but to make our learning more immersive and engaging, I incorporate the facts within learning activities. That way, they are not only gathering information about our topic, but understanding why we are studying it, and how it applies to the world around us.


Before building hands-on learning games and activities though, I had to get my facts in order.

Here's a helpful list to get your sea otter lesson off and swimming.


*Get the Sea Otter Activity Sheets Here!*


 

Sea Otters Are Mustelids.

Sea otters are in the family of mustelids. This class of species is a carnivorous mammal, that includes weasels, badgers, and wolverines to name a few. Sea otters are the heaviest in their class, but the smallest when it comes to marine animals.


Sea Otters Are Built For Water.

With a long body that glides through the water, their bodies makes for excellent hunting capabilities. Their tails are long and flat, which helps them to "steer" through the water. Their ears and nostrils have flaps that prevent water from entering or filling these areas. A sea otter also has those outstanding webbed back legs, making swimming and diving an ease. Given their front paws and sharp teeth, grabbing and tearing food is not a problem.

With two furry coats, sea otters are able to keep warm in frigid Pacific Coast water temperatures. Additionally, these mammals are able to hold their breath for up to four minutes at a time in order to escape predators, and in order to find food. It's no wonder, with these adaptations, that a sea otter spends nearly their entire life in the water.


A Healthy Appetite.

Sea otters have a high metabolic rate, largely due to their need to generate body heat. In order to obtain enough energy to fuel this rate, they must eat a lot! Sea otters eat more than 20% of their weight in food each day. Their diet consists of clams, mollusks, crabs, snails, abalones, and mussels.


Resourceful Critters

While their floating technique is adorable to watch, it has great purpose. By floating along on their backs, sea otters are able to eat efficiently, carry their pups, and keep themselves warm. Additionally, sea otters are resourceful by using rocks to crack open the shells of their prey. While caring for their pups that can't yet swim, mother sea otters wrap their young in kelp to keep them from floating away- that's one resourceful mammal!


Sweet Sows

A mother sea otter, or sow, gives birth in the ocean to a single pup at a time. It carries its pup on its chest until the pup is able to swim. The sweet sow teaches its pup to swim, dive and eat, and provides milk for the pup until it is six to eight months old.

 

There's More To Dive Into About Sea Otters!

Get The Sea Otter Activity Sheets Here To Keep The Learning Afloat.








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