Oh, but they’re so pretty. And, gleaned from the internet, sea otters have pockets or, more accurately, a small pouch under each forearm in which they usually store a favourite rock. The favourite rock sounds entirely too cute, but it is practical and kept as a means of cracking open shellfish and clams.
Sea otters also hold hands when they’re sleeping so as not to drift apart. My heart is melting.
Sometimes, they wrap themselves up in the long strands of kelp that grow from the sea floor all the way up to the surface, so as to avoid floating out into open waters.
When I was little, we used to come to Devon on family holidays. The only reason we found the area we wound up moving to was because my mother saw a sign at the side of the road. We were, not lost as such, but driving around, looking for somewhere to stop, and there was a small brown road sign which read ‘Otter Nurseries’.
Now, anyone who knows the south-west of England will understand that the road sign was indicating where we could find a large, thriving garden centre, at which every kid in the area has worked at one time or another.
We did not know the south-west of England all that well. So, my mother read the sign, fell into a rhapsody and exclaimed, “Oh, look! Baby otters! We must go!”
Luckily, my mother adored potted plants, so her disappointment lasted only a few seconds. Then, she proceeded to buy a car boot’s worth of hydrangeas.
So, what is a group of otters called? Well, there’s the obvious: a lodge, a family or, best of all – a romp.
Another reason to love otters is that they eat a huge amount of food. 15-25% of their body weight, daily. Foraging for anything up to five hours a day. Now, that’s an animal I can identify with.
There you have it – day #69 – Otters.