Feeding Adaptations

by Faustina

How A Sea Otter Eats A Sea Urchin and Clams

  • Long whiskers help them to detect vibrations in murky waters and locate and capture prey underwater.   
  • Otters have little pouches under their arms, in which they can store rocks to use as little hammers for smashing open urchin shells and clams.                
  • Quickly spinning the sea urchin in her paws, she breaks off the prickly spines.
  • Using her teeth, she chomps open the body and licks out the insides.

Photo by Neil Fisher, taken for the Vancouver Aquarium.
Caring for sea otters offers climate bonus

WATCH Sea Otters Vs. Urchins <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYtxz1dqZW0>

Keystone Predators

  • Because sea otters chow down on sea urchins, sea otters are considered “keystone predators.”
  • This means they don’t just impact the lives of the sea urchins they eat, they actually control the ecosystem by doing so. The sea urchins would consume too much kelp, reducing the availability of fish in the water.

Sea Otters vs. Urchins in Canada’s Kelp Forests | One Minute Dive with Pew <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASJ82wyHisE&feature=emb_logo>

Caring for sea otters offers climate bonus
<https://www.climate.gov/news-features/featured-images/caring-sea-otters-offers-climate-bonus.> Photo by Neil Fisher, taken for the Vancouver Aquarium

Brocken Inaglory


How A Sea Otter Eats A Clam

  • the sea otter places the clam on her chest and uses a rock to crack the shell open.
  • then she gets the meat.

Sea Otter Eating Antics  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIWbjgPYcJY>

Cute otters intimately filmed by spy camera | Spy in the Wild – BBC <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIWbjgPYcJY>

A Sea Otters Adaptation

  • Sea otters exhibit numerous adaptations which help them survive in their challenging marine environment.
  • Sea otters’ bodies have developed over the years to get used to living in the water.
  • Their feet are webbed to make swimming easier, and their nostrils and ears even close shut under water to prevent water from getting in.



HOW OTTERS EAT URCHINS  By Tom Ryan <https://animals.mom.me/otters-eat-urchins-1163.html>