Before you meet Cinder and Spruce, why not learn a few fun facts about their fascinating species?
The sea otter is the largest member of the weasel family but the smallest marine mammal. A majority of the world’s sea otters are found in Alaska. In some of these areas, a female northern sea otter’s home range may include up to 10 miles of coastline.
The northern sea otter population has experienced a dramatic decline in population since the 1990s, most likely due to increased predation by killer whales. Another common predator is the bald eagle, which typically feeds on young northern sea otter pups.
Speaking of pups, sea otters give birth throughout the year, with peaks in late May and June. Northern sea otters are born with eyes open, first teeth already emerging, and a full coat of dense fur that enables them to float. Sea otter pups may begin to swim and take solid food at about four weeks, and dive at six weeks. Pups remain dependent on their mothers for an average of six months.
Fully grown northern sea otters are slightly larger than California sea otters. Males weigh an average of 60–85 pounds, while females range from 35–60 pounds. In comparison to other otter species, sea otters are somewhat stockier with larger ribcages. All otters have very flexible bodies, which allow them to groom almost every inch of their fur. They use their forefeet for grooming, finding food, and eating—but not for swimming.
Sea otters spend most of their lives in the water since they are quite awkward on land. A sea otter eats in the water, lying on its back, with its food on its chest. Even northern sea otters, which spend a considerable amount of time on land, generally eat all their food in the water and consume about 30% of their body weight each day.