Common predators of sea otters include various predatory marine mammals such as orcas and sea lions. Recent reports of sea otter sightings have also occurred in Mexico. The Alaskan subspecies have predators on land such as coyotes or brown bears. Sea otters dive or play dead when they sense danger, or may signal alarm by raising a forepaw. Sea otters are generalist predators that consume over 200 species across a spectrum of rocky and soft substrates. Sea Otters Could Get New Home in San Francisco Bay. Sea urchins beware! Tips for spotting a sea otter. Sea otters, the "keystone predator" of Aleutian kelp forests, experienced dramatic population declines in the 1990's. If you removed all the sea otters in that area, the sea urchins would reproduce unchecked, as they have few natural predators that can get past their spines. Those sea otters that live farther south, mostly hunt for a great white shark, and representatives of those sea otters that inhabit the more northern areas of the Pacific, hunt for killer whales. A sea otter rests on its back with its head, arms and flippers in the air, and looks like two lumps close together. These predators of sea urchins then proceed to crush their outer body with its powerful bit and sharp teeth. Even crabs or lobsters with hard shells can be crushed with its powerful jaws. Sea otters eat sea urchins in abundance where they both occur but also prey on crabs and other crustaceans and mollusks. 6. The southern sea otter was widely believed to be extinct due to the expansive fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, which reduced the global population from between 150,000 and 300,000 to roughly 2,000. Sea otter. Then in 1914 a remnant population of about 50 southern sea otters was found along the rugged Big Sur shoreline. read more Diet analysis suggests that butter clams are their preferred prey in Southeast Alaska (La Roche 2020). https://sciencing.com/do-sea-otters-protect-themselves-6718568.html Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, Southern Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Eagles may also grab young otters if given the opportunity. Predators of sea otters include sharks and killer whales. In the U.S., there are two distinct sea otter subspecies, the Northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) and the Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). The sea otter is a marine mammal belonging to the weasel family of animals, specifically the Family Mustelidae. Due to the large size of the sea otters, there are few natural predator enemies. 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