Sea otters are endangered animals. They are intelligent and active, and most people find them cute and interesting to watch. They play, roll about, dive, and are one of the very few animals known to use tools. The sea otter lives in coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean from Sibera to Baja California. They have also been found along the coast of Japan.
Our sea otter has been captured in a classic alert pose. The otter shown here is green and yellow with a white belly, but the color does vary from that shown to green and white to all green with gray belly and more. Please note! This small otter toy is made of solid plastic and does not actually float in water. We think he'd make a wonderful addition to your sea-life diorama or school project. He can also be used as a toy or added to your animal collection. Be sure to look over our other otter toys and gifts.
There are a number of different species of otter. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) was hunted to near extinction for its soft, thick, lustrous, fur in the 18th and 19th centuries. By 1911 it was close to extinction when an international treaty gave it complete protection. Since January, 1977, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has placed sea otters on the Endangered Species List. Protected in the U.S., Canada, and Russia, sea otters have made a remarkable recovery. An estimated 150,000 sea otters now inhabit Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. Another 17,000-18,000 live in Russia and northern Japan, 2200 in California, 1000 in British Columbia, and 500 in Washington. The world's sea otter population is now estimated at between 25,000 and 40,000 individuals. Sea otters possess the thickest fur of any mammal, an estimated 800 million hairs (a million hairs per square inch!) cover their bodies. In comparison, dogs have approximately 60,000 hairs per square inch, and the average human head contains only 100,000 total. Sea otters do not have deposits of fat under their skin to keep them warm, instead they depend on air trapped in their thick fur for insulation against the cold. Consequently, pollution from oil spills is a major threat to these animals. Currently, the toxic effects of TBT on marine wildlife have caused recent sea otter deaths off the coast of America. TBT is a toxic chemical used to undercoat ships to prevent the build-up of algae and mollusks. Dolphins, whales, sea lions, otters, sea birds and fish are being poisoned by this highly toxic paint in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. (Sea otter research by Joslyn Biggins.)
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