Wednesday, January 26, 2011

sea otter ~ 01/26/11 ~ Coast Guard Pier

southern sea otter
Enhydra lutris nereis

I rarely spot sea otters out of the water and am always surprised at how big they are, especially when their fur is dried and fluffed out. More often than not, the locals are tagged on their hind feet. This one was sunning itself at sunrise, but per my usual I didn't have a camera on me during my regular morning walk. I came back later to take this picture. It's too bad, because I missed some awesome photo opportunities with a massive elephant seal floating in the water next to the boat docks.

So, as I was looking up embedded links to include in this post's ID (see highlighted names right below the picture), I discovered there are 3 subspecies of Enhydra lutris. Who knew? Our local southern sea otter is the smallest of the three and is also listed as federally threatened. I've also backposted 2 other sea otter pics this morning for those who are curious.

ps - For much better pictures than I can ever provide, check out Greg Magee's smugmug southern sea otter pics. We cross paths regularly in the mornings. I've been tempted to ask him to photograph certain birds and marine animals that I spot.