Oz leaps onto a rocklike platform, scoots a yellow Easter “egg” under his armpit and disappears into chilly water. He leaps back — this time for an icy version of a yellow Peep.
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FIVE FACTS ABOUT SEA OTTERS AT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
- Adult males average 65 pounds and adult females average 45 pounds. (Oz is the biggest at the Georgia Aquarium at 65 pounds.)
- The male sea otter lives to be about 10 to 15 years old in the wild, while the female’s life span is about 15 to 20 years. Their life spans are usually longer in an aquarium or zoo setting. (Gracie is the oldest at the Georgia Aquarium at 17 years old.)
- Like other sea otters, the bodies of the sea otters at the aquarium are covered in a dense fur that must be constantly groomed to maintain its insulating properties and cleanliness. The thick coat helps to maintain the sea otter’s body temperature in the cold ocean water. (The fur of the sea otter is the densest of all mammals at about 350,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch, compared to dogs that have only 1,000 to 60,000 hairs per square inch.)
- Sea otters must eat 20 to 25 percent of their body weight every day to maintain normal body temperature.
- Classified as a marine “fissiped,” the sea otter is an aquatic carnivore that is well-adapted for its life at sea. The digits on its front paws are separated and covered, similar to mittens. Its claws are retractable and the front paws have rough pads. These features help sea otters more easily grasp their slippery or spiny prey. On the hind paws, the pads are reduced and may be absent, except on the toes. The fifth digit or little toe is longer than all other otters, allowing the sea otter to spread its webbing wider when swimming.
Source: Georgia Aquarium