Tools of the Times
from the book, "Our Fascinating Earth"

Our Fascinating Earth

Tools of the Times

Sea otters spend almost all of their time in the ocean, in coastal waters that provide them a steady diet of sea urchins, clams, crabs, snails, mussels, and particularly abalone. They are most at home amid kelp and seaweed, where they can become entwined in kelp to avoid drifting off while they sleep.

They scour the sea floor in search of prized delicacies, and when they find a mollusk or an urchin they swim to the surface, lie on their backs, and crack it open by pounding it with rocks. This may now be considered old—fashioned, because at least one sea otter has adapted to the twentieth century. It was observed by a scientist recently in the process of opening a shellfish. But this sea otter had cracked open its abalone shell with a Coke bottle!