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Monday, June 4, 2012

Baby Sea Otters

The female otters have the nickname,Rudolph, because after mating the females nose is bloody red.  The male grips his teeth onto the female’s nose while mating.  The male also wraps his forelegs around the female’s chest to hold on.  Mating usually lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes.  Some female otters start mating when they are only about 3 to 4 years old.

The female sea otter is pregnant for six-and-a-half months.  This allows the pup to develop fully before being born into the cold ocean.  The female may keep trying to postpone the birth of her pup until she is in good environmental conditions and when she is in good physical condition.

The female sea otter gives birth in the water; rarely she may give birth on the shore.  The female otter will usually take her pup away from other otters so she can spend all of her time grooming and feeding her pup.  The average pup isn’t much bigger than a kitten and only weighs 3 to 5 pounds.

Pups are usually born to look like a rag doll. They have brownish or yellowish fur that makes them look like a porcupine. The thick, well-groomed fur on pups helps them stay afloat while their mothers are close by diving for food.

Female otters almost always have only one pup at a time. Very rarely they might have twins. If it does happen the female will abandon one of them because she can’t properly take care of them.

The California female sea otter  lives up to 16 years old and has one pup every year. She can have up to 12 pups. The mother will take care of her pup for about 5 ½ months, and then the pup is on it’s own.

1 comment:

  1. I know this is an old post, we just found your collection of photos. We fell in love with the mom hugging the pup (6th photo from the top, the smiling pup looks asleep). Do you know who the photographer is? We'd love to know :)