Sea otter. Sea otters are generalist predators that consume over 200 species across a spectrum of rocky and soft substrates. Those sea otters that live farther south, mostly hunt for a great white shark, and representatives of those sea otters that inhabit the more northern areas of the Pacific, hunt for killer whales. The sea otter can usually be found in kelp beds, and looks very much like lumps of kelp. Even crabs or lobsters with hard shells can be crushed with its powerful jaws. Predators of sea otters include sharks and killer whales. ... Members of the fishing industry, for example, might be leery of these voracious predators. read more Sea otters dive or play dead when they sense danger, or may signal alarm by raising a forepaw. Sea Otters Could Get New Home in San Francisco Bay. If you removed all the sea otters in that area, the sea urchins would reproduce unchecked, as they have few natural predators that can get past their spines. Tips for spotting a sea otter. The southern sea otter was widely believed to be extinct due to the expansive fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, which reduced the global population from between 150,000 and 300,000 to roughly 2,000. Diet analysis suggests that butter clams are their preferred prey in Southeast Alaska (La Roche 2020). A sea otter rests on its back with its head, arms and flippers in the air, and looks like two lumps close together. Sea otters eat sea urchins in abundance where they both occur but also prey on crabs and other crustaceans and mollusks. Recent reports of sea otter sightings have also occurred in Mexico. In the U.S., there are two distinct sea otter subspecies, the Northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) and the Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Common predators of sea otters include various predatory marine mammals such as orcas and sea lions. 6. Then in 1914 a remnant population of about 50 southern sea otters was found along the rugged Big Sur shoreline. The sea otter is a marine mammal belonging to the weasel family of animals, specifically the Family Mustelidae. There … The Alaskan subspecies have predators on land such as coyotes or brown bears. Sea otters can sometimes be seen off sandy beaches — and even local harbors. While there may not be immense numbers of sea otters, a single sea otter can eat a lot of sea urchins. Eagles may also grab young otters if given the opportunity. Sea otters, the "keystone predator" of Aleutian kelp forests, experienced dramatic population declines in the 1990's. Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, Southern Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Sea urchins beware! Bald eagles have been observed swooping down and grabbing sea otter pups. 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