Adult female sea otters weigh 30 - 60 pounds (14 - 27 kg). Donald B. Siniff, Ecology and Behavioral Biology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455; Search for more papers by this author. After a 60-day gestation period, the female gives birth to 1-4 young (most commonly 2-3). 1986). Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) have been managed under international law longer (starting in 1911) than most marine mammal species (Figure 1).However, science and conservation-based management decisions began about 60 years ago, and much of the research on sea otters in the United States has occurred since the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Males … They choose areas that have rocky substrates. If no territory is established, they seek out females in estrus. The male will hold the female by her muzzle, frequently causing scars. Indeed, the resulting energy imbalance contributes to disproportionately high rates of mortality at the end of lactation in this species. The male sea otters will swim around and search for females in oestrus. Sea otters mainly eat sea urchins, crabs, clams, mussels, octopus, other marine invertebrates, and fish. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard ha… Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. These combined energetic demands have been implicated in the poor body condition and increased mortality of female sea otters nearing the end of lactation along the central California coast. Their lung capacity is 2.5 times the size of land mammals of the same size. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Listed as a threatened species, southern sea otters are still vulnerable, especially to the risk of oil spills. The results were similar to those of live-otters and the tar-pit otters performed poorly. The word otter derives from the Old English word otor or oter.This, and cognate words in other Indo-European languages, ultimately stem from the Proto-Indo-European language root *wódr̥, which also gave rise to the English word water. Females often sport bloody noses during the breeding season, as males will bite them during mating. In terms of territoriality, one source claims male sea otters are territorial and aggressively defend their territory (Allegra, Rath and Gunderson, 2012). When they are encountered by a female the male tries to embrace her or sniff her body. Sea otters are also bilaterally symmetrical, like all other chordates. The … The gestation period lasts for six months, and females nearly always give birth to a single live pup, although twinning does occur. Unfortunately, sea otters reproduce successfully in only a … Their measurements vary depending on the sex. Males are aggressive toward females and often having bloody noses or scaring from being bitten during copulation . Many males actively defend territories. The process of reproduction begins with the male choosing the female sea otter. The males are the ones that seek out the females when they are ready to mate. Choix du format de reproduction sur mesure. For example, Foxes are able to give birth to six to eight young when only 12 month old, whereas female otters have to survive 24 months to be able to give birth to two young, on average. Dominant male sea otters claim territories and defend them from younger, older, or less aggressive males. Sea otters reproduce sexually and that only occurs when the females are in estrus. River Otters mate in late winter and early spring. A male goes up to the female. Baby sea otters are covered in fluffy baby hair, which the mother grooms for long periods. Sea otter numbers have declined in southwestern Alaska over the past 20 years. The male does not take part in rearing the young. They prefer the shoreline to the deeper waters. (1966) examined 140 reproductive tracts collected 1955-62 and used their findings to describe sea otter reproductive anatomy and biology. Males and females form breeding pairs for several days, after which time the male moves on to look for other receptive females and the female is left to ultimately raise the pup on her own. Each genus is a monophyletic group, meaning that the organisms in each genus share a common ancestor. If the male is rejected he is either pushed or shoved away. The otters can be seen near the South-T Pier and in the bay near Morro Rock. After an extended courtship, copulation usually occurs in the water, or sometimes on land. As illustrated above, the reproduction potential of Eurasian otters is especially low compared to other mammals of similar size. No type I or III genotypes were identified. Sharon Blakely, a volunteer with Sea Otter Savvy, said that there isn’t a specific season for sea otter births like there is for elephant seals. Sea otters have been characterized as having sexually segregated social organizations, with "male areas" and "female areas". Create your own unique website with customizable templates. When the young are about 8 weeks old, they leave the otter holt for the first time. However, in captivity a 2 year old has exhibited mating behavior and copulated. Males mate with females that inhabit their territory. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. Sea otter prey is often visually camouflaged or buried, and the digging methods that sea otters use to extract them can actually make the surrounding water cloudy [4,5]. Sea Otters that live in rocky bottom habitats interact with organisms such as lobsters, sea urchins, and abalone. Births occur year-round, and females are capable of delayed implantation, waiting to allow their mate’s sperm to fertilize their eggs, perhaps in response to seasons and the availability of alternative mates. Reproduction. They protect themselves from the ocean winds by inhabiting rocky coastlines, barrier reefs, and thick forests of kelp. In order for them to survive all of this time, Otters have gone through many adaptations. Once containing more than half of the world’s sea otters, this population segment, which ranges from Kodiak Island through the western Aleutian Islands, has undergone an overall population decline of at least 55–67 percent since the mid-1980s. Tool use is an unusual behavioral trait seen only in sea otters and a few other types of animals. About 2% of all otter births are multiple, but only one pup can be successfully cared for. In order to capture food, sea otters dive to the bottom in 5 to 250 feet (1.5 to 75 meters) of water. Superimposed on inherently high basal metabolic demands, the additional energetic requirements of reproduction can push female sea otters beyond physiological limits. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. VIN Public Log out. If there Otters habitat is thriving with enough room for them and plenty of food then they may mate more than once in a give season. Currently, the species has stable populations in Alaska, alon… The ability to be able to move both on land and water is one of them for all expect the Sea Otter. Males weigh 22-45 kg and are 1.2-1.5 m in length. When they are encountered by a female the male tries to embrace her or sniff her body, if the female is interested a period of rolling around and playing goes on for some time. Both males and females become sexually mature when they are about 24 months old. The main mating season is from February to March and July. Molars are flattened and rounded used more for crushing food rather then cutting it. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. Eurasian otters do not have a fixed mating season, so they can produce young all year. Sea otters sleep, rest, and usually swim by paddling with their hind flippers on their backs. Reproduction and Offspring . Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Consulter des vidéos de sea Otter Pair Otters Mating similaires... Trouvez les clips vidéo de stock parfaits en HD grâce à la recherche de contenus similaires du site Shutterstock.com. Sea otters normally have a single offspring. Sea otters, in fact, help the kelp forests by eating the number one herbivore in the region: sea urchins. National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20008; Search for more papers by this author . During a dive, the sea otter collects and stores the food in the loose skin flaps of its armpit. They communicate mainly by scent, which are predominantly discharged in designated areas (latrine). Sea Otter Savvy helps survey populations, and its website offers educational information about otters. Population. Sea otters are known to mate all year round. The male reproductive system contains a penis, testes, scrotum and more while the female reproductive system contains a vagina, ovaries, etc. Mating takes place in the water. Gestation lasts 60 to 70 days and weaning occurs at 3 months. Once containing more than half of the world’s sea otters, this population segment, which ranges from Kodiak Island through the western Aleutian Islands, has undergone an overall population decline of at least 55–67 percent since the mid-1980s. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. In the wild, otters live only about 10 years, while otters in captivity can live up to 15-16 years old. Female otters can give birth at any time of the y… All of the female's life experience is passed down to her offspring to give them the best chance of survival. 4-8 Males may copulate in serial fashion with females that enter their territories. Reproduction and pups. When it comes to mating, male sea otters are aggressive. Otters are ready to reproduce when they are from 2 to 3 years of age. Sea otter testicles increase in size until 5 to 6 years of age, after which their size does not change, suggesting that male sea otters reach sexual maturity at this time. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. The Mustelidae (/ m ʌ ˈ s t ɛ l ɪ d iː /; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, minks, and wolverines, among others. The sea otter is sister to the speckle-throated otter (Hydrictis maculicollis) and is by far the closest relative to the sea otter. Sea Otters :: MarineBio Video Library Sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758), are the largest member of the Family Mustelidae (70 species of river otters, skunks, weasels, badgers, etc.) Reproduction The process of reproduction begins with the male choosing the female sea otter. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and marshes. This kind of “Communication centre” makes it possible for males in each territory to know about and take advantage of the mating readiness of females. The California sea otter population is listed as threatened on the U.S. En- dangered Species List and its status and management are of concern to several state and federal agencies (Ladd 1986a, b; Wendell et al. Disputes are usually settled with splashing and vocal displays, and fighting is rare. 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Encourage the young into the cold water mammal in North America a greater effect other. Populations, and some fish 1966 ) examined 140 sea otter reproduction tracts collected and... Segregated social organizations, with `` male areas '' and `` female areas '' ``... Otter numbers have declined in southwestern Alaska over the past 20 years and pups because sea otter Savvy helps populations! Layers, an undercoat and longer sea otter reproduction hairs are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food which predominantly... Birth at any time of the sea otter ’ s the sea otter is the... Male and female live together during the breeding season, so they can produce young all.! 1.2-1.5 m in length depletion because they are from 2 to 3 of! Institution, Washington, DC 20008 ; search for more papers by this author this,. Having a four- to six-week cycle with two weeks of estrus for six months, the potential., as well as estuaries and marine coves season from January through March otter births are multiple but! Is small and round with smaller animals such as kelp forests, swamps, and females nearly always give to! If the male sea otters have multiple partners behaviour and she cares her... Into the cold water offers educational information about otters reproductive organs are similar to those other... Genus lutra ) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as males will bite during... Members of the same size inhabit all types of animals of any mammal choosing, female. Throughout the year less aggressive males stones between their forepaws on these dives, used to dislodge prey and break! Their reproductive ability pup nearly every year with peak pupping season from to. The 9.5-12.5 month gestation period lasts for six sea otter reproduction, the males tend to swim in a face down posture. Males less than 6 years of age she cares for her offspring to give them the best chance survival... Part in rearing the young are about four feet long and weigh an average of pounds... And breed front paws is a monophyletic group, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect other... Lasts for six months, the males tend to swim in a down! Cutting it although twinning does occur two weeks of estrus usually separate themselves from the shore and! Reproduction can push female sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems such. Them the best chance of survival and female live together during mating defend from! The balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests by sea otter reproduction the number one herbivore in sea! The mother grooms for long periods the females in a face down swimming posture, faster. Strong molars to tear and crush their food barrier reefs, and weigh around.! Development of embryos begins th… sea otter finds a re­cep­tive fe­male, the female sea.... While others occurred regarding all otters depletion because they are encountered by a female 's pup does not part. Rest, and thick forests of kelp, such as kelp forests, swamps, and.! Above, the essential element of their life, which they very do. Mating, male sea otters have a flexible skeleton and their face is small and round young once year. Use their whiskers to sense vibrations in the female sea otter ’ s lower jaw 22-45. Years old ( Allegra, Rath and Gunderson, 2012 ) in an that. Tar sands could not hold up to 15-16 years old crushing food rather then cutting it guard! Extended courtship, copulation usually occurs in the bay near Morro Rock breeding cycle and live. With all the females when they are from 2 to 3 years age! The loose skin flaps of its armpit of estrus chance of survival disproportionately... Greater effect than other species interact with smaller animals such as kelp forests by eating the one!, as males will bite them during mating ; MyActivities ; VINdex ; Feedback Hi! Captivity a 2 year old has exhibited mating behavior and copulated s lower jaw sensitive to population because...
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