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Sea Otter Savvy

Sea Otter Science And Community Outreach

Not Just a Pretty Face

What makes sea otters so vulnerable to disturbance and why is it so important for us to protect them? Sea otters are the most recently evolved marine mammals and have a number of physiological characteristics that make them an easy target for disturbance by humans. Yet some of these same physiological characteristics, such as exceptionally high daily calorie demands, also make them critically important to our coastal ecosystem health. To learn more about the unique vulnerabilities of sea otters to disturbance and also about their status as ecosystem superheroes, explore the following pages.

Vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities

  • Rely on hair to stay warm
  • Very high daily calorie needs
  • Lack ability to store energy as fat
  • Being a sea otter mom is VERY expensive

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Ecosystem Superheroes

Ecosystem Superheroes

  • Control herbivores through high consumption
  • Sea otters are a keystone species
  • Case study: Sea otters in kelp forests
  • Case study: Sea otters in eelgrass

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