You "Otter" Know...
Friday, February 27, 2009 | Author: eventer79
Look at this -- a Friday Fun Fact on Friday!!! Small miracles happen every day.

Today's "wow" factor comes from the sea otter, a charming little mammal that inhabits the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of California, Alaska, and Siberia. Otters have the thickest fur of any animal in the world and rely solely on that fur for insulation in the chilly aquatic home. They have no blubber beneath their skin, so if that fur becomes slicked down by oil or other contaminants, the unlucky otters will quickly die of exposure.

Otters are the largest members of the weasel family, weighing in between 45-65 lbs in their southern range, but reaching a whopping 100 lbs in the northern reaches of their territory. They also have the distinction of being the only other mammals besides primates to routinely use tools -- I'm sure we all were charmed growing up by footage of sea otters lying on their back in the water, cracking open tasty abalone with rocks.

So this Friday, take a minute to appreciate these fascinating furry beasts -- they are a crucial part of the coastal ecosystem and are still threatened after being driven nearly to extinction by pelt-hunting two hundred years ago. They are constantly at risk from oil slicks and entanglement in nets and fishing gear, so we need to do our best to ensure that the probability of otter encounters with these risks are minimized. They do fall under the jurisdiction of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, which also shelters whales and dolphins. You can help them by adopting an otter through Defenders of Wildlife. You can also learn more and take action throuhg The Otter Project and at
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