Sea otter mother and newborn pup in Monterey Bay, California, USA
© Suzi Eszterhas/Minden Picture
A warm hug. Cuddling up for warmth
Sea otter mums shower their pups with attention, cradling them and grooming them for hours. But it's more than a gesture of affection, a mum will rub her pup to fluff its coat, which causes the fur to retain air bubbles. The air insulates the pup from chilly waters and sometimes causes the youngster to float like a cork. Sea otters can survive on land, but they spend most of their time in the water, sleeping above the surface and anchoring themselves with kelp, or by holding onto each other. When they get hungry, they use rocks as tools to hunt food and pry open shells which makes them pretty special, as they're one of the few mammals that can use tools.