Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Creature Feature

Sea Otters

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Sea otters live nearshore, typically in the kelp forest, where they dive to the sea floor to forage. They typically feed on abalone, sea urchins, crabs, clams, and snails. Find more information about sea otters here: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium sea otter page

Sea Otter




Sea otter with pup

Did you know...
that sea otters do not have blubber like most marine mammals? Instead they have very dense fur (up to one million hairs per square inch) to help them stay warm.

que las nutrias marinas no tienen grasa como la mayoría de los mamíferos marinos? En cambio, tienen un pelaje muy denso (hasta un millón de pelos por pulgada cuadrada) para ayudarlos a mantenerse calientes.

Sea otter eating a geoduck clam

Did you know...
that to maintain its body temperature, the sea otter eats 25% to 35% of its body weight in a single day?

que para mantener su temperatura corporal, la nutria marina ingiere del 25% al 35% de su peso corporal en un solo día?





Enjoy this introduction to sea otters (y tambien en español)


Join CMA Educator, Carl to learn more about sea otters!


Do CMA's famous Do it do its and eat like a sea otter!


For Your Creative Side:

  • Here’s a fun sea otter and kelp craft!


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Coloring (Click image to open a PDF to print and color)


Arts and Crafts

  • Be creative! Make a kelp collage! ! (Click image for PDF instructions)
    Kelp Collage

  • You otter check out this fun craft! (Click image for PDF instructions)
    Otter Diorama

  • Here's a cute puppet you can make! It's not like the otters! Ha!
    (Click image for PDF instructions)
    Otter Puppet

  • Don't just hang around - make this ottery mobile! (Click for PDF instructions)

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Additional Resources:

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Southern California Species

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is home to more than 200 species of animals that live in and around the waters of Southern California. Do you have a question about these and other Southern California species? Ask a Biologist.

Nycticorax nycticorax

Black-crowned night herons feed at night in the same areas that other heron species feed in the day.

Pelecanus occidentalis

The brown pelican is the smallest of all pelicans and is the only one that plunges from the air into the water to catch its food.

Phoebastria immutabilis

The wings of a laysan albatross are adapted to lock open into a wingspan of nearly seven feet.

Limosa fedoa

The marbled godwit has a long, slightly upturned bill with a dark tip and pinkish base.

Larus occidentalis

The Western gull typically lives about 15 years, but can live to at least 25 years.

Tringa semipalmata

The willet is very territorial and will aggressively defend their nesting and feeding territory.


Creature Feature Archive

      9/20/2020 Sea Otters (Featured)
      9/1/2020 Plankton
      8/17/2020 Shark Week
      6/5/2020 Bony Fishes
      6/3/2020 Spring Outdoor Program
      5/23/2020 Birds
      5/15/2020 Whales
      5/8/2020 Salt Marsh
      5/1/2020 Rocky Shores
      4/23/2020 California Grunion
      4/15/2020 Celebrate Earth Day!
      4/7/2020 Sandy Beach Invertebrates
      3/11/2019 Channel Island Fox
      11/14/2016 Piddock Clam
      6/22/2016 Giant Pacific Seahorse
      3/2/2016 Spiny Sand Crab
      12/22/2015 Northern and Southern Tidewater Gobies
      9/16/2015 Tuna Crab
      6/17/2015 Snake Skin Brittle Star
      2/23/2015 Humboldt Squid
      12/15/2014 Allenís Hummingbird
      5/17/2013 Killer Whale
      3/31/2013 Cowcod
      2/15/2013 Crystal Jelly
      11/1/2012 Risso's dolphin
      9/6/2012 Lacy Crust Bryozoan
      8/16/2012 California sheephead
      7/31/2012 Chitons
      7/17/2012 Splitnose rockfish
      2/28/2012 Green Sea Turtle
      12/26/2011 Gray Whales
      11/16/2011 California Brown Pelican
      8/23/2011 Oarfish
      2/21/2011 Pacific Mackerel
      6/28/2010 Football Fish
      3/3/2010 Grunion
      1/12/2010 E. coli, Oh My!
      7/22/2009 Cabrillo's Fossils
      3/9/2009 Garibaldi
      11/3/2008 Laysan Albatross