🦦 What does the skeleton of a highly specialized marine mammal reveal about its life?
You can find the Southern Sea #Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as the #California Sea Otter, along California’s central coast. This endangered species has:
🔵 Blunt teeth, unique for a mammal → designed for crushing shellfish and other benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates common in kelp forests, estuaries, and the rocky bottom ecosystems the otters inhabit.
🔵 An intricate honeycomb-like structure inside the nasal passages → indicates an acute sense of smell that also aids in heat regulation in cold water (temperatures range from 8° C to 17° C!).
🔵 Large eye sockets → demonstrate good vision both above and below the water’s surface.
Thank you to 🇺🇸 Cecelia Azhderian, a trained visual #communicator who celebrates the collaboration of art and #science, the old and new, and bringing the outside in!
The #illustration was commissioned by SeaOtters.com, and appeared here: https://lnkd.in/eiDuzfA. The organization raises awareness about California’s threatened sea otters.