Sea otters are foragers that eat mostly hard-shelled invertebrates, including sea urchins and a variety of clams, mussels, and crabs. They have an interesting method of eating their prey.
Otters boast a sharp set of canines and crushing molars. And theirs is a formidable bite, roughly comparable in force to a German shepherd's, which can break hand bones but mostly punctures or bruises skin. Yet even bites are rare.
What do Otters Eat? In the wild, most species of otter feed on fish and crustaceans, with river otters feeding on prey like freshwater fish, mussels, crabs, crayfish and frogs, and saltwater otters eating marine prey such as shellfish, sea urchins and shrimp.
Southern sea otters feed primarily on benthic invertebrates, such as sea urchins, abalone, crabs and snails, but they have been occasionally observed eating birds.
Sea Otters obtain their nutrients by eating many different types of marine animals. They eat a wide variety of marine animals such as: clams, crabs, snails, starfish, abalones, mussels, urchins, sea cucumbers, limpets, chitons, annelid worms, and many more.
The Dungeness crab fishery here in Southeast is being severely impacted. And otters eat king and tanner crab, so there's going to be impacts on all of the shellfish fisheries.”
Did you know sea otters eat about 25% of their body weight in food every day? Our awesome otters primarily eat clams and shrimp, but they also enjoy crab, squid, mussels, scallops, octopus, and (their current favorite) purple urchins.
What are the natural predators of sea otters? Great white sharks are the primary predator in California. Ongoing studies in Alaska recently revealed that orcas (killer whales) are eating more and more sea otters in that region, possibly because the usual prey (seals and sea lions) are in decline.
Otters carry large stones between their forepaws on these dives, used to dislodge prey and to break open shells. Their diet includes clams, crabs, sea urchins, starfish, abalone, and 40 different marine invertebrates. They also eat octopuses, squid, and fish.
Nicole Duplaix, who chairs the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Otter Specialist Group, said otters are known for being friendly animals, but, like most other creatures, keep their distance from humans.
Owning native otters is illegal in many countries including the UK, Japan, and the U.S. Yet otters are still being illegally smuggled into these countries to be sold as pets.
Answer: You purchase otters from a breeder or broker. They are not commonly available, and you would likely need to get on a waiting list. They are expensive to buy and house.
Sea Otter. Sea otters are quickly rising up the list of intelligent marine animals. Their ability to use rocks to open clams is rare in the animal world. But that's not the only skill they've got: it's also possible that sea otters are the first species to use tools, according to a recent study.
Some species of bacteria that are commonly isolated from sea otters can cause severe wound infections when implanted in bite wounds or scratches. There is also a risk of catching a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transferable from animals to humans) from handling live or dead sea otters.
Fast, agile swimmers with a mean bite, river otters have few natural predators when they are in the water. On land, however, they must be wary of predators such as bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, wolves, black bears, and alligators. Even domestic dogs pose a threat to the river otter on land.
Do all Otter Species Hold Hands? Only sea otters hold hands as they swim on their backs with most of their body out of the water. River otters do not hold hands as they are almost entirely submerged when swimming with their back up.