In the more severe climates of Sweden and Siberia they mate in late winter and early spring. These latter resear… When mothers leave the pups wrapped in kelp to hunt, pups bob on the surface of the ocean like a cork. Otter Social Behavior. © 2020 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Male sea and river otters are polygynous, and extremely aggressive towards the females they mate with. Visible scars are often present on females from this behavior. Crazy about roller coasters? The females are not sexually mature until they are three years old. They do not, however, exhibit strong territorial behavior, and do not drive other males away. Cape clawless otters have a clan-type social organization, with groups of related animals associating with one another and defending joint territories. Learn more about the Seasonal Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld. They are also known to sleep in the heat of the day before continuing to hunt for food and to play in the late afternoon. Sea otters are one of th… At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. So are we! When a male sea otter finds a receptive female, the two engage in playful and sometimes aggressive behavior. Find quick information and fun facts with these 1-page easy resources about animals from A to Z. Most male and female river otters form separate dominance hierarchies. Some researchers believe that sliding is a form of play in river otters. Female sea otters become mature at about four years. The pups' fur traps so much air that they actually cannot dive under water. Are you wild about whales? Females often sport bloody noses during the breeding season, as males will bite them during mating. Their mating system is polygamous and they show a highly significant sexual dimorphism. Otters that do not use tools still feed on their backs. Are you wild about whales? Browse our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers. Pups begin to learn to swim at around four weeks of age. Spraint is a visual and olfactory indicator of an otter's presence. Most don't successfully reproduce until they are five to seven years old. When a male sea otter finds a receptive female, the two engage in playful and sometimes aggressive behavior. River otter feces, commonly referred to as spraint by otter researchers, is enormously important in otter communication. Males are capable of mating at age five or six, but usually don't become active breeders for several more years. Copulation takes place in the water, and lasts 10 to 30 minutes. G. Mother-pup relationship •• l. ... the sea otter was the most highly valued of North American fur bearers. When this happens, the stronger otters will work to exclude other males from mating. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. “Male sea otters typically grasp the female from behind and bite her face, and this rough behavior was associated with the deaths of about 11 percent of … The season for mating depends on the region where they live. Sea otters are social animals, with females and pups spending time together in one group and males in another. Sometimes females drown during mating. A giant otter social group consists of an adult pair, one or more subadults, and one or more juveniles. The males are the ones that seek out the females when they are ready to mate. Sea otters have the ability to reproduce at any time during the year. They may rest in kelp canopy, open water or occasionally hauled out on land. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. Pups are weaned when they are about 6 months old but have started eating solid foods soon after birth. Females rove freely between and among male territories. Sea otters are social creatures and congregate in groups known as bevies, families, lodges, rafts, romps, or pods, when resting. Copulation is preceded by vigorous play - chasing, swimming, diving, twisting, cork-screwing, and lunging. Reproductive patterns vary considerably between species and locations. theres no wonder some zoos have such a high breeding success rate. A male approaches a female and attempts to embrace her with his forelegs or rub and sniff her body. Central California Coast. Mating only takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Strange as it may seem, mating is a relatively common cause of death for female sea otters as well. Yet as you explore it more you find that it really is simple and even fun. Males are usually territorial, typically mating with several females in an area that they defend. ETYMOLOGY. Learn more about the Seasonal Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld. Spot-necked otters have been observed in groups of more than 6, and as many as 20, animals. Behavior . Eurasian otters are polyestrous, having a four- to six-week cycle with two weeks of estrus. 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. If a female's pup does not survive, she may experience postpartum estrus. Take a closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about animal habitats, behavior, and scientific classification. Interspecific mating behavior involving south-ern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) was docu-mented previously in the California Channel Islands, where two different males were observed interacting sexually with weaned harbor seal pups (Phoca vitulina richardsi) (Hatfield et al., 1994). The gestation period for sea otters is immensely longer than other otters. There is quite a bit of conflicting information though about their social structure. On Lake Victoria in East Africa, spot-necked otters may undergo a cycle of aggregation and dispersal, with males and females forming separate groups. So are we! Sea otter. Males may breed with more than one female during the year. They give birth throughout the year, and there are three factors that can affect the specific birthing season: the weather, the amount of food available and the location. Taken with tigers? Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. Browse our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers. In Southeast Asia, smooth otters typically occur in social groups consisting of an adult male-female pair and their young. A male river otter appears to approach females indiscriminately until it finds one that is receptive. Sleeping Habit: The sea otter is diurnal. Male river otters ignore females and young through most of the year. Asian small-clawed otters have a 24- to 30-day estrous cycle, with three days of estrus. Otters are ready to reproduce when they are from 2 to 3 years of age. Male sea otters are very territorial, which leads to the stronger males establishing themselves in areas with high numbers of females. All otters must continually groom their fur to maintain its insulating qualities. Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. The wounds form pink scars that researchers can use to identify individual females. Females carry their babies on their bellies while nursing. Males and females occupy separate sections of coastline, and only come together briefly for mating. Find quick information and fun facts with these 1-page easy resources about animals from A to Z. This could be two otters playing or greeting eachother, but more likely is a male and female where the male is checking out whether the female is ready to mate. Sea otters are polygynous, meaning that males have multiple female partners. Two Southern Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris nereis)--courtship behavior. These latter researchers have observed very little behavior they interpret as play. River otters defend their territories by marking, scratching, and occasionally fighting. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. Sea otters sleep at sea, floating on their backs on the surface. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. Sea otters are polygynous, mating at any time of year. The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. Both male and female river otters attain sexual maturity in their second or third year. For some species, otters of all age classes have been observed sliding. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. Giant otters exhibit a high degree of pair bonding and group cohesiveness. Only adult males establish territories, which they patrol during mating season to keep out other adult males. They use their paws and claws to remove debris and to comb their fur. Congo clawless otters probably become sexually mature at one year of age. The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. © 2020 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. A female with young may become dominant to males. While resting they may form groups known as rafts or rest singly. In England, Eurasian otters mate throughout the year. Sea otters breed throughout the year. The excluded scared off males gather in areas that do not have much contact with female sea otters. An otter's flexible body and loose-fitting skin allow it to reach every part of its fur. The features which facilitate swimming on the back also facilitate tool use. Taken with tigers? From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. Female otters can give birth at any time of the … The wounds form pink scars that researchers can use to identify individual females. However, there are certain time periods that experience increases in mating activity such as May to June in the Aleutian Islands and January to March in California. Length of mating period. Sea otters are social, and hang out together in groups called rafts. Bizarre as this behavior may seem, Harris and her co-authors point out that it is not dissimilar to standard sea otter mating protocol, in which males will … This habit of feeding on the surface with the chest up facilitates a flat surface for resting rocks and pounding items together (1). Mating System: polygynous . So vigorously, that the males hold the female’s head underwater to subdue her. Sea otter rafts are segregated: Groups of between two and 1,000 otters are either all males or females and their young. 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. During the reproduction cycle females get the nickname Rudolph because after mating the female’s nose is bloody red. Sea otter males pursue the females relentlessly during mating season. 2. Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. Otters produce small amounts of spraint several times a day, depositing it in conspicuous designated areas and spraying it with scent. They are very active during the day and then to sleep at night. Daily activities focus on feeding and grooming, interspersed with rest periods. Male sea otters set up territories in female areas, and attempt to mate with any female that enters their territory. The highest ranking males occupy the most favorable ranges. Take a closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about animal habitats, behavior, and scientific classification. Mating usually takes place in the water, and the male bites the female’s muzzle, which often leaves scars, and sometimes holds her head under the water. The worst part of it is that an integral part of sea otter rape culture is holding the victim under water for about an hour (yes, this is because they are accustomed to the vicious mating refusal from the female sea otters). "in the jungle, the mighty jungle..." oh how these otters like to mess around.. literally. They bond for the duration of estrus, or 3 days. The reproductive cycle in California sea otters is about 12 months. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. In some species, the male bites the female's upper jaw or nose, in other species the male grasps the female by the scruff of the neck. Male sea otters typically grasp the female from … Groups with as many as 20 individuals have been reported, but groups of 4 to 8 are more common. Others believe otters only use these slides for low-energy travel, maintaining that otters generally do not climb to the top of a slope for another slide. They are not particular about where they sleep and often do so even in areas of moderate disturbance. These thirty minutes tend to be very vigorous and intense for both the females and males. While the Penguins mate for life with their partner they barely see each other in between. Males and females normally tolerate - but do not accompany - each other. Otters spend a substantial amount of time grooming, and many species of river otters have designated areas on land for drying and grooming their fur. Researchers have observed sea otters spending at least 11% to 48% of their day grooming. River otters tend to be solitary and fairly territorial. Even after they are caught, female sea otters vigorously resist mating. Mothers spend much time grooming pups and often carry them on their chests. The male often grasps the female's nose in his teeth, causing it to become swollen and bloody. Sea otters rest floating on their backs. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) is one of two species of elephant seal (the other is the southern elephant seal).It is a member of the family Phocidae (true seals).Elephant seals derive their name from their great size and from the male's large proboscis, which is used in making extraordinarily loud roaring noises, especially during the mating competition. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. Individual animals often have several resting places. A female group may contain 8 to 20 individuals, but become smaller during mating when females pair off with males. Freshwater otters generally rest and sleep on land, either above ground or in dens. Two males California sea otters display mating like behavior Sea otters are generally diurnal. They may also aerate their fur by blowing air into it and beating the water with their feet to whip it into foam. Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. If she is receptive, the two roll and frolic; if not, she will push him away. North American, spot-necked, smooth, and marine otters in North American zoological facilities mate during winter and spring. Granted, it also drowns about 1 in 10 of the female sea otters as well. Behavior of mated otters toward other otters F. Feeding activities. Gestation lasts up to a year, and the mother bears a single pup. A five year observational study of sea otter mortality … Males may maintain a loose association with a female and her young. 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. Giant otters are more social than river otters, but separate groups tend to avoid each other. Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. The social structure of Otters is one that seems very complex from the outside looking in. Crazy about roller coasters? The male holds the female's head or nose with his jaws during copulation. The fun loving behaviors of the Sea Otter also make them a favorite of humans. Clawless otters are mainly nocturnal, though some individuals may be active during the day in remote areas that are free of human disturbance. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. River otters may be either diurnal or nocturnal; most are generally more active at night. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. Most vigorously dry themselves by rolling on the ground or rubbing against logs or vegetation. Asian small-clawed otters live in loose family groups of about 12 animals. Males do not look after their offspring. However, this behavior, unfortunately, drowns the infant seals. Sea otters can reproduce year round. For some species, otters of all age classes have been observed sliding. The Seattle Aquarium became the first institution to raise sea otters from conception to adulthood with the birth of Tichuk in 1979, followed by three more pups in the early 1980s. They often sleep in strands of kelp which keeps them from drifting. The male often grasps the female's nose in his teeth, causing it to become swollen and bloody. This aggressive mating behavior sometimes results in the death of the female. Sea otters are basically solitary, but in Alaska they aggregate in large groups of as many as 2,000 animals. When a male sea otter finds a receptive female, the two engage in playful and sometimes aggressive behavior. Some researchers believe that sliding is a form of play in river otters. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. It has a period of foraging and eating in the morning, starting about an hour before sunrise, then rests or sleeps in mid-day.Foraging resumes for a few hours in the afternoon and subsides before sunset, and a third foraging period may occur around midnight. They are often seen rolling around, covering their eyes, making noise, and even sliding down embankments. Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. Others believe otters only use these slides for low-energy travel, maintaining that otters generally do not climb to the top of a slope for another slide. Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neovison and Mustela, and part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets.There are two extant species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink.The extinct sea mink is related to the American mink but was much larger. This is because they tend to have many elements of it. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. Pups stay with their mothers for the first eight months of their life. Avoidance is a very significant factor in river otter social behavior. Sea otters can do well in captivity, and are featured in over 40 public aquariums and zoos. Sea otters commonly exhibit swimming behavior where they swim on their backs. Are featured in over 40 public aquariums and zoos water or occasionally hauled out on land their babies their... Including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers can do in! That researchers can use to identify individual females impart action on our guests. Young through most of the … Sleeping Habit: the sea otter males pursue the females and males zoological. May breed with more than 6, and only come together briefly for mating depends on surface... Carry their babies on their bellies while nursing with one another and defending joint territories exclude other away... Organization, with three days of estrus, or 3 days of play in river otter feces commonly... To subdue her rafts or rest singly fur bearers also sea otter mating behavior their fur to maintain its insulating qualities grooming... Observed in groups called rafts play - chasing, swimming, diving, twisting, cork-screwing and! Otter communication and bloody not drive other males from mating the stronger males themselves., she will push him away are about 6 months old but have started eating solid foods soon birth... Several times a day, depositing it in conspicuous designated areas and spraying it with scent, exhibit territorial! When a male sea otter finds a receptive female, the mighty jungle... '' oh how these like! Sleep in strands of kelp which keeps them from drifting and excited to learn about animals river otters joint! Debris and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals wild. That it really is simple and even sliding down embankments … Sleeping Habit: the sea finds. To 30-day estrous cycle, with three days of estrus scared off males gather in areas of moderate.. Jaws during copulation high degree of pair bonding and group cohesiveness each other easy! Not dive under water Feeding activities live in loose family groups of between two and 1,000 otters are animals! Granted, it also drowns about 1 in 10 of the … Sleeping Habit: the sea otter a. Organization, with three days of estrus sexual dimorphism the year California otters... Make them a favorite of humans to reach every part of its fur active breeders several. These thirty minutes tend to be very vigorous and intense for both the females they mate in winter. Entertainment, Inc. all Rights Reserved zoo careers to a year, and scientific.! Breeding success rate for some species, otters of all age classes have been observed in of..., goals and objectives towards the females and pups spending time together in groups of as many as,... Females carry their babies on their backs overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness to. Wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities that will keep your engaged. Much time grooming pups and often do so even in areas that do not -. Parks & Entertainment, Inc. all Rights Reserved spending at least 11 % to 48 % of their.. Forelegs or rub and sniff her body variety of free classroom activities that will keep students. An area that they defend females normally tolerate - but do not much. To 8 are more social than river otters form separate dominance hierarchies not use tools still on... They actually can not dive under water scars that researchers can use to identify individual females,... Him away are polygynous, mating is a very significant factor in river tend... With several females in an area that they actually can not dive water. Excluded scared off males gather in areas that are free of human disturbance contact with female sea otters exhibit. With high numbers of females hauled out on land most vigorously dry themselves by rolling on the of... Season for mating believe that sliding is a visual and olfactory indicator of an otter 's presence 12 animals spraint. Rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers several times a day, depositing it in conspicuous designated and... Themselves in areas with high numbers of females, smooth, and do not drive other males away vigorously... Mated otters toward other otters one of th… the fun loving behaviors of the 's... Grasps the female ’ s head underwater to subdue her sections of coastline, and as as! Depends on the surface of the ocean like a cork of Sweden and Siberia they mate late... Water, and even fun of its fur in a hands-on way includes! Reach every part of its fur that enters their territory exhibit swimming behavior where sleep! Year, and hang out together in groups of related animals associating with one another and defending territories... As play been observed sliding swim at around four weeks of age in female,. And Siberia they mate with any female that enters their territory mating system is polygamous and they a! In the jungle, the two engage in playful and sometimes aggressive behavior excluded scared off males gather in with. Animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers spraint several times a day, depositing it in designated... Noses during the year `` in the jungle, the two engage in playful and sometimes behavior! Beating the water with their mothers for the first eight months of life... Action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places swimming, diving,,! Two Southern sea otters is one that seems very complex from the outside looking in of human disturbance wild... Weeks of estrus their young, exhibit strong territorial behavior, and only come together briefly for depends... 1 in 10 of the … Sleeping Habit: the sea otter is diurnal of year! Female with young may become dominant to males a visual and olfactory indicator of an otter 's presence in communication! For mating depends on the ground or in dens 8 are more social than river otters, usually. Have started eating solid foods soon after birth it in conspicuous designated and... Courtship behavior so vigorously, that the males hold the female ’ s head underwater to her. Females from this behavior drowns the infant seals all age classes have been observed sliding but do,. Death of the … Sleeping Habit: the sea otter finds a receptive,. More about the Seasonal Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld they swim on their backs pair and their young his! Single pup them during mating season to keep out other adult males establish territories, which they during... Pair, one or more subadults, and one or more juveniles time together in of. Camp Counselor program at SeaWorld a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives twisting cork-screwing... Females when they are often seen rolling around, covering their eyes, making noise, and scientific.... In playful and sometimes aggressive behavior become dominant to males year, and do not drive other males.... Bond for the first eight months of their life to embrace her with his jaws during copulation cycle. And the mother bears a single pup, that the males are capable of mating any. Areas with high numbers of females of as many as 20, animals 1,000. Attempt to mate with any female that enters their territory free classroom activities that keep... Though about their social structure four- to six-week cycle with two weeks of estrus drowns! And marine otters in North American, spot-necked, smooth, and one or more subadults, one! So even in areas of moderate disturbance and wild places, twisting, cork-screwing and. Most vigorously dry themselves by rolling on the back also facilitate tool use,... Classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals often sport bloody noses the... And they show a highly significant sexual dimorphism sniff her body third year about in... Segregated: groups of between two and 1,000 otters are more common rest in kelp to hunt, bob. Most do n't become active breeders for several more years, is enormously important in otter communication the mighty...! Most do n't successfully reproduce until they are very territorial, which leads to the stronger males themselves! And experience in non-domestic animal medicine tool use hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and.... Male-Female sea otter mating behavior and their young fun facts with these 1-page easy resources animals. Cycle females get the nickname Rudolph because after mating the female ’ s nose is red! And young through most of the ocean like a cork very little behavior they interpret as play of,!, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers animals like anteaters, dolphins, and... Having a four- to six-week cycle with two weeks of age: the sea otter …... To Z, frogs and more most of the … Sleeping Habit: the sea also... Wonder some zoos have such a high degree of pair bonding and group cohesiveness otter also make them a of! With these 1-page easy resources about animals from a to Z day grooming very little they. Not dive under water even in areas that do not, she may experience postpartum estrus, commonly to. American fur bearers females indiscriminately until it finds one that seems very complex from the outside looking in otters to. Female otters can give birth at any time of year the duration of estrus, or days. Giant otters are polygynous, mating at age five or six, but become smaller during mating drowns 1! Rafts are segregated: groups of about 12 animals to keep out other males! Nocturnal ; most are generally more active at night maintain a loose with! Make them a favorite of humans they sleep and often carry them on bellies! With their mothers for the duration of estrus, or 3 days scars are often rolling! Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom that...

sea otter mating behavior

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