And unlike that other four-legged marine mammal, the polar bear, they don’t leave the water unless they absolutely have to. And due to a remarkable story in the history of farming, the second-densest is abundant and readily available. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Among mustelids, the sea otter had significantly denser fur than the river otter, mink (Neovison vison, Schreber), and ermine . The sea otter would hold the stone in both paws, and hammer the side of the shell at the rate of 45 blows in 15 seconds! When the otter swims, its coat traps a layer of air close to its body. The sea otter, weighing a maximum of 45 kg, is generally brown in colour, with a distinctive white face. No other terrestrial mammal comes close. There are peaks of birth in May-June in the Aleutian Islands and in January-March in the California population. In 1775 otter pelts sold in the Russian port of Okhotsk at up to 30 times the price of sable. The use of air as insulation is very efficient, providing four times the insulation of the same amount of fat or blubber. Prepare for furs so dense and soft that words to describe them are hard to find. Among mustelids, the sea otter had significantly denser fur than the river otter, mink (Neovison vison, Schreber), and ermine . Sea Otter – Defenders of Wildlife The underhairs average 7 to 9 mm (0.28-0.35 in.). This group has spread along the 322 km of California coastline, but its population is still small—only about 2,300. Chinchilla's only have the highest for land mammals. If sea otters are frightened they will flip over on their stomachs and swim away sometimes diving underwater to get away. When a sea otter finds some food, like a shellfish, it will tuck it into loose skin folds in its armpits, which are used like shopping bags. Since sea otters do not have any insulating fat, the fur is responsible for maintaining warmth in waters typically 1-10°C. The sea otter is covered in dense fur that consists of two layers. From being an infant to being an adult, sea otters have an intense life cycle. And so we find ourselves in the high Andes, home of the long-tailed Chinchilla lanigera and short-tailed Chinchilla chinchilla. And then the cavalry arrived, in the unlikely form of fur farmers. Fur length varies considerably with the species. Since 1998, the MarineBio Conservation Society has been a nonprofit volunteer marine conservation and science education group working online together to educate the world about ocean life, marine biology, marine conservation, and a sea ethic. Sea otters are social, and tend to congregate in groups of gender, with pups and females in a group and males in another group. Sea Otter Furs are the most sought after furs. When sea otters come to the surface they lie on their backs and use their stomachs as a table. Truth About Fur Blog – Research, opinions and analysis. They inhabit temperate coastal waters with rocky or soft sediment ocean bottoms less than 1 km from shore. Sea otters are the only carnivore with just 4 lower incisors. Hair density has always fascinated the fur trade because the densest furs are also the softest and most luxurious. The sea otter, Enhydra lutris, has a very effective method for catching food. That works wonderfully in the air, but it doesn’t work at all in water because temperature changes are usually much less. Eight years ago a survey counted about 25,000 animals. Pups are small, ranging from 1-3 kg. If the hairs are dirty or clogged with oil, then the sea otters coat won’t be waterproof and they die from the cold. Both furs are great, but otter wears like iron where chinchilla is delicate. Their average dive lasts about a minute; the longest dive recorded, however, lasted 4 minutes. In the early 18th century, Russian fur traders found themselves on the Pacific shores of Siberia. But as a guide, a dressed, farmed pelt has about 24,000 hairs per cm2. Now step aside blondie, and make way for that benchmark of luxury, mink. Chapman originally planned to breed pets, but he switched to fur farming. Like talcum powder, perhaps? Sea otters, Enhydra lutris, are listed as Endangered (EN A2abe) with the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: ENDANGERED (EN) The Russians conquered Kamchatka, in the eastern edge of Russia, where they could harvest sable and sea otter fur. Females tend to stay away from males except when mating. The most direct effect of humans on sea otter population density was the fur trade, the legacy of which is still apparent today in large areas of unoccupied habitat (Figure 2). Sea otter fur is the densest of all mammals, with about 100,000 hairs per square centimeter. Populations collapsed, prices soared, and by the early 20th century a peasant trapper could feed his family for a month with just one pelt – if he could find one! This caused a huge downfall of the sea otters population, which only got worse. They will eat nearly any seafood they can find in their kelp forest foraging grounds. Today, chinchilla farms are found from Canada to Argentina, and in many European countries, and almost all their stock are believed to descend from Chapman’s original 10. This has helped some sea otter populations. U.S. Making fur garments is a … The U.S. FWS's Threatened & Endangered Species System track information about listed species in the United States Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Otters have the densest fur of any animal on earth—about 1000 times more dense than human hair. Alaska is unique. Kelp forest ecosystems are characteristic of sea otter habitats. Breeding interval: Annually Pregnancy has been reported to be 4-12 months. Unless you have inches of blubber, or are a halibut, it’s almost inconceivable. 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