Sea Otters Holding Hands

March 20, 2015 | Jeannette

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Sea otters holding hands
By Joe Robertson [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know sea otters hold hands? I didn’t. I recently discovered this insanely adorable fact through a colleague. She asked me the same question. Then told me to look it up online. Instantly, I fell in love with the images of sea otters holding hands that popped up on my screen.

Sea otters spend most of their time in the water. They eat, sleep, hunt, mate and give birth in the water. To prevent themselves from floating away in the swirling sea while they sleep, sea otters often entangle themselves in forests of kelp or giant seaweed to provide anchorage. This is also the reason why they hold hands. They do so in order to prevent themselves from drifting away from the group.

This little known fact went viral when a video of two sea otters holding hands from the Vancouver Aquarium was uploaded online. Within 2 weeks, the video had one million views. As of today, there are over 20 million views. If you haven’t seen the video, you can watch it below.

The Vancouver Aquarium also has a live webcam of the sea otters exhibit. You can watch what the sea otters are up to, as they eat, swim and play. You may even catch them holding hands!

As cute as they are, like all livings thing, there is a dark side to sea otters. They were seen raping, and in the process killing, juvenile harbor seals off the coast of California.

To learn more about sea otters and otters, here are some books from the library:

The nature of sea otters  Otter  Otter country  Otters - Ecology, behaviour and conservation

The library also has DVDs about sea otters.

I hope you enjoy seeing these cute little sea otters holding hands as much as I did. Do you know any interesting facts about animals? If you do, please share them below.