When Are Sea Otters Most Active?(Time of Day, Seasons, Weather, & More)

Sea otters are adorable marine animals that enjoy rolling around in the water, sliding down embankments, covering their eyes, and making cute noises.

But what time of the day are these sea creatures most active, and what time do they sleep? What’s the best time or season to go out trying to spot them in their natural habitat?

Floofmania takes a peek at this species’ schedule for all sea otter lovers!

When Are Sea Otters Most Active?

Time of DayDawn and dusk.
SeasonAll seasons.
WeatherAlways active except during extreme weather like storms.

Are Sea Otters Nocturnal Or Diurnal?

Sea otters are diurnal animals, which means they are active during the day and sleep at night. In particular, however, they are most active during dawn and dusk.

Sea otters start their day an hour before sunrise, hunting for food, eating, and grooming. Once they finish eating their favorite seafood, they settle for quick midday naps. 

The species then gets up to resume their activities for a few hours in the afternoon until sunset before heading off for their main evening sleep

While sea otters typically slumber through the night, some hungry ones may get up around midnight for a third round of foraging to satisfy their cravings! 

What Do Sea Otters Do All Day?

Sea otters have a metabolic rate three times faster than other marine animals. Because of this, they spend most of their time hunting food and eating.

Specifically, they can spend up to 8 hours a day eating!

When they are not hunting or munching on delicious seafood, sea otters can be found sleeping, resting, and grooming their fur. In between that, they play, mate or take care of their young.

What Season Are Sea Otters Most Active In?

Sea otters do not change their behavior based on seasons or weather. All year long, they can be spotted hunting, eating, grooming, caring for their young, and sleeping in shallow parts of the chilly ocean no matter the season.

In fact, even though sea otters tend to mate more during certain months, they can do so any time of the year if they want to!

Sea Otters In Wintertime.

Even as the temperatures drop, sea otters stay active and within their home range. They do not hibernate, nor migrate during winter.

How Do Sea Otters Stay Warm In Winter?

Sea otters stay warm even during winter due to their high level of thermogenic metabolism, which helps them produce lots of body heat. They then generate even more body heat with all their hunting and foraging!

Additionally, sea otters have thick fur to keep the cold water off their skin. 

The species has about 1,000,000 hair follicles per square inch of its body. Their fur is composed of two layers: First is the outer guard hairs that serve as first protection from the cold and the water. They then have a second layer that is composed of very fine and very dense hair that keeps cold water from getting in contact with their skin.

Where Do Sea Otters Go If The Water Freezes?

As long as the ice is not too thick, sea otters can make holes in the ice to get through frozen waters

Sea otters can also move a bit further away from the shoreline, where water is much less likely to freeze over.

In extreme cases, sea otters go inland, mostly in inlets and bays within their home range. However, the species cannot live long out of seawater.

Thankfully, it’s infrequent for sea otters’ natural habitats to freeze over.

Do Sea Otters Like Snow And Ice?

Ice and snow are simply part of the sea otters’ natural habitat. The species can swim under frozen waters to dive for food without any qualms. They can also roll around snow by the bay to groom themselves. 

However, during warmer months, animal experts have observed that sea otters actually seek out ice wherever they can. In the summer, the species loves munching on ice and rolling around in ice buckets to cool down and just have some fun!

Are Sea Otters Active In All Kinds Of Weather?

Sea otters are active in all kinds of weather – some people have shared stories online of spotting sea otters playing in the rain!

In case of extreme weather such as storms, sea otters stay within their home range to seek shelter.

Typically, they rely on kelp forests for protection from harsh weather, wrapping themselves in the seaweed to stay anchored and safe.

Should the weather truly take a turn for the worse, they head for bays and inlets for extra protection. But as soon as the weather disturbance disappears, sea otters can be spotted slipping back into the water where they are happiest and most comfortable. 

What Temperatures Do Sea Otters Prefer?

Generally speaking, the species enjoys colder temperatures. Most of the sea otter population lives in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, mainly in Alaska and Canada. They tend to thrive in shallow waters with temperatures between 35°F and 60°F.

However, sea otters are perfectly happy frolicking around in summer weather, too.

Author: Bernice Go

Bernice Go is a violinist and orchestra manager by profession but a writer by hobby. She enjoys writing about various topics, from music to animals to self-development. When she isn’t playing the violin or writing, she loves reading, traveling, playing video games, and savoring a good cup of coffee.

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