Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Otters are Waving

My boyfriend recently visited the beach and claims to have had “a moment” with a sea otter. In fact, he swears one waved at him! Whether or not I believe him — I’m not sure I do — I was intrigued and decided to learn more about this neighborly animal.

Sea otters are very social animals, floating in groups of sometimes less than 10 to more than 100 (and occasionally waving at humans). They are the smallest marine mammal, but an adult can weigh up to 70 pounds and reach 5 feet in length. Sea otters are especially known for their fur, which is the finest of any mammal, consisting of 850,000 to 1 million hairs per square inch. They depend on their fur to keep them warm in the water. Early in the 20th century, otters almost became extinct because of fur trappers, hunting them for their coats, but now there are up to 150,000.
Check out the Jungle Store for some otter stuffed animals and other otter-related gifts.

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