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Paws

Hi, my name is Paws, and I’m a sea otter.

Otter Facts

You’ve probably seen videos of a sea otter like me using tools to crack open a stubborn shell, playing in the cold ocean water, or even cuddling or “holding hands” with another otter. We’re pretty popular creatures, probably because God designed us fluffy and cute.

Did you know sea otters are some of the only animals that use tools? Small rocks make a great hammer to chip food off another rock or smash open something yummy. We even roll onto our backs and use our bellies as a table!

To find our food, we can dive 330 ft (100 m) below the water. Special flaps close our ears and noses to keep the cold ocean water out. Unlike many sea mammals, we don’t have a layer of blubber to keep us warm, so God designed us with the thickest fur of any mammal, which traps air bubbles so we can stay toasty even in cold water.

Here are some fun facts about sea otters:

  • We sometimes wrap kelp or seaweed around ourselves when we sleep so we don’t drift away. Other times we will gather together in huge groups called “rafts.”
  • We eat up to 20 pounds (9 kg) of food every day!
  • Baby sea otters are born in the water. They can’t swim right away, but they have a special kind of fur that works like a life jacket, letting them float around in the water. They spend much of their time resting on their mother’s chest.
  • We have special kidneys that allow us to drink some seawater, but most of our fresh water comes from the food that we eat.

Class: Mammalia (mammal)
Order: Carnivora (meat-eating)
Family: Mustelidae (sub-family Lutrinae)
Genus/Species: Enhydra lutris
Length: 4–5 feet (1.2–1.5 m)
Weight: Average weight between 64 and 85 lbs (29–39 kg)
Diet: Clams, crabs, fish, and octopuses
Habitat: Pacific coastal (along the ocean) and estuarine (where the river meets the ocean) areas of North America and Asia

Character Trait

Watching a sea otter lie on its back and fold its paws should remind us that we “otter” thank God in everything. The Bible tells us “in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), but sometimes it’s hard to be thankful. It’s much easier to complain or argue. But we read in God’s Word, “Do all things without complaining and disputing” (Philippians 2:14). We aren’t supposed to complain but to give thanks instead. It can be hard, but we can rely on God to help us thank Him in everything.

Verse

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Apologetics Focus

Sea otters like me love splashing around in the water, and we rarely go onto the land. But we usually keep the land in sight just in case. Well, did you know that there was a time in the past when the whole planet was covered in water? This happened just a few thousand years ago during the global Flood of Noah’s day. The Bible says a lot of this water came when the fountains of the great deep burst open (Genesis 7:11). This tells us the Flood was pretty violent! It created the mountains we see around the world, ripped the continents apart and moved them to where they are today, and laid down miles of rock layers full of fossils. It was a catastrophic event that changed our world!

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