Sea otters visiting Cayucos and Morro Bay

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

It is difficult to see in this video, but there is a sea otter frolicking on the Pacific Ocean surf at Cayucos State Beach in California, just off of Studio Drive neighborhood. Sea otters are making more appearances here on the Central Coast, especially in Morro Bay, Los Osos, and Cayucos.

While it is expected to see sea otters in the Monterey Bay, there have not been many along the beach in Cayucos in the 10 years we have been visiting here.

The sea otter was probably looking for shellfish on the small rocky outcropping visible in the left side of the video. Kids ran down to greet the otter and follow it along the surf as it dove down and rested on it’s back.

With a pair of binoculars we could see the sea otter’s whiskers and behaviors close up.

About sea otters

sea otters cayucos californiaThe sea otter is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 31- and 99-pounds, making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter’s primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter lives mostly in the ocean.

The sea otter inhabits offshore environments, where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. It uses rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells, making it one of the few mammal species to use tools.

Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species now occupies about two-thirds of its former range. – Wikipedia

For more information about visiting Cayucos, CA, check out the Cayucos Travel Guide.

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