The course blog for Bio 412 - Marine Biology at Ashland University
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Fear the Sea Otter
Sea otters have survived near extinction and helped maintain the integrity of the giant kelp forests off the the Western Coast of the United States, particularly California. Sea otters are considered a keystone species because they help keep the ecosystem they live in balanced. These cute creatures are very smart and use tools to help eat their prey. Most sea otters eat crustaceans and mollusks such as the sea urchin. Sea otters love to eat sea urchins, which in turn, who otherwise would eat and destroy the kelp forests. In order to consume the sea urchins, otters have been observed to use rocks and other tools to crack open the urchins. The sea otter is a very adorable species and plays a major role in protecting the giant kelp forests.