A Sea Otter’s Diet

Today, some more sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Today’s images show a couple of the sea otters with prey. Sea otters are predators, feasting mostly on such morsels as abalone (fish), sea urchins, crabs, mussels, and fish. Since they really love some of the shellfish, it is quite common to come across an otter that is rapidly beating it’s shellfish prey agains a rock that is lying on his stomach. When hunting for these morsels, the otter will often pick up a rock and carry it to the surface with them. Then, pounding in short, rapid strokes, he will work at breaking the shell so that he can get to the tasty contents. Unfortunately, I couldn’t grab a photo of the rock during this trip, although we could distinctly hear the pounding of a shellfish (a clam, in this instance) against it.

Here are a few images of the otter as he feasted on the clam (if you look closely, you can probably see the clam’s shell):

Sea Otter with a clam

Sea Otter with a clam

Sea Otter with a clam


Another otter was busy with what looked like an arm of a red sea star:

Sea Otter with a sea star


As we paddled past this hungry little guy, he turned over, “standing” straight up to get a better look at us (the kayak in the background is being paddled by Rick, the owner/operator of “Seaside Adventure”):

Sea Otter watching us kayak past hin

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Posted in Mammals, Nature Photography, Photography from a kayak, Travel Photography
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