sea otter with clam floating on back

World Oceans Day is June 8

Of course, we all know sea otters are cute; and who hasn't enjoyed the many online videos of their playful antics frolicking on the ocean waves, cracking open a clam with the help of a rock, or simply taking a much-deserved rest tied off in some kelp? But did you know that they play a vital role in the health of our oceans and, ultimately, the earth? Sea otters are a keystone species for their kelp forest home helping to control sea urchin populations…

Sea otter or River otter?

Know the differences between otter species

Sea otters live in the North Pacific Ocean (North of the Tropic of Cancer).  River otters live in rivers and spend their time along the accompanying riverbanks.

There are 13 species of otter throughout the world; 12 are river otters; 1 is the sea otter.

sea otter for differences post
Sea otter in the Pacific Ocean

Sea otters tend to swim on their backs while river otters tend to swim on their stomachs.

Sea otters eat foods found in the Pacific Ocean like sea urchins, crabs, sea stars, clams, mussels & shrimp.

North American river otter - differences post
A North American river otter swims on stomach

River otters eat foods found in their river habitats such as fish, crayfish, shrimp, crabs, and even frogs.