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Sea Otter : Lifestyle

Enhydra Lutris

Sea otters have a typical life expectancy of 10 to 15 years in the wild, though one captive otter lived to the ripe old age of 28. Lady otters begin breeding around four years old, males a few years later. The male otter needs to be strong enough to have a territory of his own before he'll be able to find a willing mate. Sea otters only have one cub, who will stay with the mother for six months until they are fully weaned. They are typically born in late spring, and sea otters can use delayed implantation to make sure they are born at the right time.


Sea otters are often seen in rafts, groups of individuals all floating together. There are typically up to 15 or 20 individuals in a raft, but very rarely there can be as many as a hundred. These rafts are not family groups, though, they are either all males or all females. The all-female rafts, perhaps with cubs, are found in the territories of the dominant males. All-male rafts are made up of the males who don't have territories of their own. These groups are often various boisterous, with lots of laddish behaviour and play!

And relaaaax

Otters don't feed in rafts, they come together for a bit of rest and relaxtion. Grooming is very important, as their fur must be in tip-top condition and very fluffy to keep out the cold. In order to have a safe and secure nap on the rolling sea, otters will often wrap themselves up in kelp to stay anchored in one place.

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