Why Sea Otters Hold Hands & Wrap Pups in Seaweed

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Sea otters cannot even swim on their own when they are born. In the wild, a mother otter takes her pup everywhere to protect and educate her baby. Birth usually takes place in the water and typically produces a single pup weighing 1.4 to 2.3 kg (3 to 5 lb). Twins occur in 2% of births; however, usually only one pup survives.

Sea otters will form a “raft” to prevent them from drifting out to sea while sleeping. Photo Michael Jay
At birth, the eyes are open, ten teeth are visible, and the pup has a thick coat of baby fur. Mothers have been observed to lick and fluff a newborn for hours; after grooming, the pup’s fur retains so much air, the pup floats like a cork and cannot dive. The fluffy baby fur is replaced by adult fur after about 13 weeks.


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Susan Lee

You'll want to watch the video that goes with this article. Aside from the incredible cute-ness there is active intelligence to be admired in the otters.

Susan Lee

Shows what "family" is really all about! Lovely and heartwarming article, thank you!

Wai Ling  Liu

beautiful thanks