Sea otters, members of the weasel family, have the densest fur of any mammal to keep them warm as they frolic in the cold Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, their beautiful, waterproof coats also make them attractive to the fur trade. There is good news on the conservation front, however, and sea otter populations have recently increased. Learn more about the adorable sea otter at these fun sites.
Friends of the Sea Otters introduces kids to sea otters with stories, games, riddles, videos and live webcams. Don't miss the Resources link on the top of the page for a detailed history of California sea otters, which were once thought to be extinct. From there you'll find the link to Sea otter FAQs which includes fun facts about sea otters and their conservation.
California's Monterey Bay Aquarium has rescued and released over 500 stranded and orphaned sea otters. Through tracking devices and research, these biologists are among the top experts on sea otters. Learn about the work they do by following the story of Kit, an abandoned sea otter pup who eventually becomes a surrogate mother for other orphaned pups. Videos of her progress and a sea otter webcast bring the story to life. The site also provides downloadable PDFs of projects and activities for teachers.
For students writing a paper, Otter Net is a treasure trove, although there are a few grammatical errors (typos?) here and there. Extensive information is supplied on everything from the size and shape of otters to their habitats and what they eat. There are also a story about the discovery of sea otters in 1741 by the shipwrecked Russian ship, the St. Peter. "Thankfully for the crew, a botanist, biologist, and student of medicine is on board, his name is George Wilhelm Steller. He nursed the men back to health with plants and the Kamchatka Sea Beaver, aka, the Sea Otter."
"The Otter Project protects our watersheds and coastal oceans for the benefit of California sea otters and humans through science-based policy and advocacy." For students interested in pursuing a career with sea otters, there is a special link explaining the different career options, with interviews with professionals in the field. The "About Sea Otters" link includes not just information about otters themselves, but also about the otter's role in the ecosystem and its relationship with humans. High-school science students should follow the Research link for dozens of articles, most in PDF format.
Can you imagine eating a quarter of your weight every single day? That's exactly what sea otters spend eight hours of every day doing. Learn more by clicking on the "Sea Otters" link at the bottom of this splash page. Living in the wild isn't easy and fewer than 1% of sea otters die from old age. Learn what threatens sea otters today at the "Latest Research" section. Large photos, and graphs make it easy to understand how otters catch diseases and what sea otter conversationists are concerned about.