Sea otters are much more dangerous than you think

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2022-09-23 01:45:43

The Australian Institute of Marine Science states that shark attacks kill around 10 people each year around the world. Although this number is insignificant – about 6.5% of people are killed by falling coconuts each year – sharks are still considered a potential danger to humans. The Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack Record offers suggestions for swimmers, such as “It is not recommended to wear shiny jewelry because the reflected light resembles the light of fish scales“.

Great white sharks and other marine predators have in fact been exaggerated by humans and earned them a bad reputation. According to National Geographic, sharks do not actively hunt humans, but sometimes they will confuse us with seals, so the phenomenon occurs.

However, sea otters are an exception. They are often considered by humans to be a lovable, harmless animal. But this is not necessarily true, and they are not as harmless as many people think.

Physically, sea otters are not the strongest creatures in the sea. However, they are the largest living otters on our planet, there are records showing that the males can weigh more than 50kg and be nearly 2 meters long (normally they will weigh between 14 and 33kg for an adult). with children).

In addition, the sea otter is an intelligent useless animal, they know how to use tools to support the hunting process as well as enjoy the prey. Mollusks are the favorite food of sea otters, and they often break the shells of clams, shells, snails… by repeatedly hitting the shell of their prey with rocks until it breaks.

Sea otters are much more dangerous than you think - Photo 2.

However, when they cannot find a support tool, they will directly use their teeth to break the shell of their prey. Sea otters have very strong teeth for their size. The Burke Museum reports that sea otters tend to eat hard-shelled molluscs, because they have strong skulls, teeth, and a bite force of about 40kg, and when compared with bite force correlations and body size, we can say that sea otters are one of the most powerful biting species of any species that still exist on Earth.

As the Huffington Post reported in 2015, in a controversial incident, a clip was posted on the Internet of a person on a boat poking a sea otter while it was dozing on the water. The otter appeared to be unharmed but panicked and quickly ran away.

Sea otters are much more dangerous than you think - Photo 3.

This incident is in fact a very dangerous situation. As Carrie Goertz of the Alaska SeaLife Center says, sea otters can be aggressive if they feel threatened. “They have sharp teeth and claws and are often referred to as ‘feather chainsaws’ because when they attack, they can deliver fatal blows.“.

In fact, now that sea otters are a protected species, they are vulnerable to human activities. Touching or approaching sea otters is now illegal in many countries – it is considered wildlife harassment and can result in fines of up to $20,000 as well as up to $20,000 in fines. up to a year in prison in the United States.

Sea otters are much more dangerous than you think - Photo 4.

In addition, by touching or having extensive contact with these animals, they can transmit serious diseases to humans: a number of organisms that transmit diseases from animals to humans include the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the bacterium Brucella. sea, and the fungus Coccidioides immitis or C. immitis causes “Valley Fever” in humans.

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a species of marine mammal native to the northern and northeastern coasts of the Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg, making them the heaviest member of the weasel family, but also one of the smallest cetaceans.

Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otters’ basic form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat, the thickest of any animal kingdom. Although they can walk on land, sea otters are capable of living entirely in the ocean.

Sea otters live in nearshore habitats, feeding mainly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some fish. They can use rocks to break and open the shells of their prey, making sea otters one of the few mammals that can use tools.

Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were however heavily hunted for their fur from 1741 to 1911, and their present numbers have dwindled to 1,000–2,000 individuals worldwide.

References: National Geographic; Britannica; Burke Museum; Huffington Post

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