sea otter

noun

Definition of sea otter 

: a rare marine otter (Enhydra lutris) of the northern Pacific coasts that may attain a length of six feet (two meters), is chiefly brown but with lighter coloration on the back of the head and neck, and feeds largely on shellfish

Examples of sea otter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Just one is enough to kill an animal as big as a dolphin, sea otter or Beluga whale. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 Family groups of sea otters bob in the swells, the lone males, with their grizzled, silver faces, lay back like old men in their recliners, pining away their days. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Even with one bad eye, Alaska’s Barren Islands are a sight to behold," 13 June 2018 The exceptions to the 1,000-pound rule were whales on the large side and sea otters on the smaller end. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Had our human ancestors taken to the sea, we would have been big and blubbery," 26 Mar. 2018 Despite decades of government protection, southern sea otters today still occupy only about a fourth of their historic range. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Why climate scientists want to be thought of as the real 'climate skeptics'," 18 May 2018 Much of what is inferred on how toxoplasmosis is killing Hawai`i’s state mammal comes from scientific discoveries made with Southern sea otters along coastal California—primarily that freshwater runoff is carrying the parasite to the sea. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 In 1977, southern sea otters were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and an intensive effort began to help them recover. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Monterey Bay Aquarium’s program to save sea otters revives their habitat," 21 Apr. 2018 About 400 sea otters were reintroduced to Southeast in the early 1960s after being nearly wiped out by fur traders. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Sea otters are wiping out Southeast dive fisheries, managers say," 21 Jan. 2018 In this photo taken Monday, March 26, 2018, sea otters are seen together along the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing, Calif. Washington Post, "Sea otters rebound but struggle to regain historic range," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sea otter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sea otter

1664, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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The first known use of sea otter was in 1664

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