Monday, November 2, 2009

Wet Friends

(stamp size 2" x 1.25")

These cute little guys were carved as a bonus for an adopted box down on my beloved Washington Coast. The box was originally planted by Daelphinus and I loved it so much, I wanted it to remain active after she moved out of the area. This box has since been retired, but somehow I think the stamps are floating around here somewhere... (now it's gonna bug me until I replant it! lol!)
The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 30 to 100 lbs, 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 near shore environments where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly upon marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various mollusks and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems.

2 comments:

Ari C'rona said...

They're so cute! Just say when we need to go replant that one - I'm always ready for a beach day! :o)

Mama Cache said...

They really are cute! Last time I saw otters, they were in a zoo, a pair of them. I distinctly remember it being spring . . .

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