Sea otter mother and newborn pup in Monterey Bay, California
© Suzi Eszterhas/Minden Picture
Celebrating sea otters
Say hello to this mom and newborn pup in Monterey Bay, California, during Sea Otter Awareness Week. Sea otters shower their pups with attention, cradling them and grooming them for hours. But it's more than a gesture of affection—a mom will rub her pup to fluff the pup's coat, which causes the fur to retain air bubbles. The air insulates the pup from chilly water 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—something that makes them relatively unique, as they're one of the few animal species that can use tools.