Sea Otters In The Maritime Fur Trade

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SEA OTTERS The sea otter is a marine mammal that lives in the northern and eastern coasts of the North Pacific Ocean. They are the heaviest members of the weasel family but are some of the smallest marine mammals. The sea otter has no blubber and the main way to keep warm is its thick coat of fur which is not like most other marine mammals. Did you know the sea otter has 150,000 strands of hair per square centimetre, because of this the Sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal. In the Maritime Fur Trade, which would eventually kill approximately one million sea otters, began in the 18th century when hunters and traders began to arrive from all over the world for otter pelts, which were one of the world 's most valuable types of fur. The …show more content…

The number of sea otters a long time ago was 150,000–300 000, but unfortunately because of the fur trade, they were hunted a lot for their expensive fur between 1741 and 1911. The world population of sea otters fell to only to about 1 000–2 000. But later after all that, there was an international ban on sea otter hunting, and reintroducing sea otters into previously populated areas has helped to repopulate the species. Because of all the human help the species now occupies has about two-thirds from the population number they had before. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation. Even after all this, the populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently gone down by a lot. For these reasons, the sea otter would still be known as an endangered species. The sea otter evolved mainly in northern Russia and then spread east to the Aleutian Islands, mainland Alaska, and down the North American coast. Compared to many other species of water animals the sea otter is pretty new to a marine existence. The biggest threat to sea otters is oil spills. They are very vulnerable because they rely on their fur to keep warm. When their fur is soaked with oil, it loses its ability to retain air so the animals can die quickly from hypothermia. The liver, kidneys, and lungs of sea otters also become damaged after they inhale oil or ingest …show more content…

The sea otter has made many adaptations to its water environment. Its nostrils and small ears can close. The back feet, make the sea otter swim fast, because they are long, broad, flat, and webbed. The tail is short, thick, slightly flattened, and muscular and the front paws are short with retractable claws, with tough pads on its palms to get a good grip on prey. The sea otter propels itself underwater by moving the rear end of its body, including its tail and back feet, up and down. The sea otter can go up to 9 km/h. When underwater, its body is long and streamlined. When at the surface, it usually floats on its back and moves by sculling its feet and tail from side to side. Long, sensitive whiskers and front paws help the sea otter find prey by touch when waters are dark or murky.The Sea Otters sense of smell is more important than its sight as a sense of

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