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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Pearls of Wisdom: Answer

Posted On April 22, 2012 by

credit: Laronna Doggett

TRUTH: The sea otter is a member of the weasel family.
TRUTH: Sea otters are the only otters that give birth in the water.
LIE: Sea otters stay warm in the water thanks to a thick layer of insulating fat.

Sea otters do not have a heavy layer of fat to keep them warm. That’s why their coats are so important—they keep their fur incredibly clean because if it gets dirty and matted down, it loses its insulation qualities. A clean coat can trap air, which provides four times the insulation of the same amount of fat. Sea otters were hunted to near extinction for their coats, and they’re just now starting to make a comeback. Remember, if you see a sea otter on land, leave it alone and ask other people not to disturb it. Always respect wildlife and keep a safe distance—no matter how cute it looks.

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