KALAN (Enhydra lutris) is an entirely marine beast and also the most adapted to the aquatic way of life. This is in all respects an amazing animal, and above all in appearance. Its body is elongated, cylindrical in shape, massive. On a short thick neck there is a small, rounded outline head with small ears, like a seal, with long vibrissae. Hind legs look like long fins, set apart. The front paws are short, dull, having a rounded bare platform on the underside. The tail is relatively short. The hide of the sea otter is extraordinary: it seems to be sitting freely on it, and at the animal floating on its back it forms deep creases on the ventral side. The fur of the sea otter is black-brown, with gray hair, extremely dense, warm, durable. Kalan is a large animal: its length is 136 cm (in rare cases up to 146 cm), tail length is 3036 cm and weight is up to 40 kg. The fur of the sea otter, or, as it is also called, the Kamchatka sea beaver, has such great value that this beast was mercilessly exterminated in the past. At present, the number of sea otters has increased noticeably. It is found on the Commander Islands, the southern tip of Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands. Another population inhabits the Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Lower California. There are 20 000 30 000 otters. Habitats of the sea otter are the coastal parts of the sea with rocks, reefs, extensive thickets of sea kale (laminaria). It is constantly foaming surf, but at the same time many shelters in case of a storm. Such places, which are very important, are hard to reach for a person. However, sea otters are not too attached to any particular site and often leave it. In quiet weather, they feed on small places at 1825 km from the shore, and in the storm and in winter keep near the shore. Calans are active mainly during the day, they feed several times a day, and rest on the shore or on the water, in particular in the thickets of algae, gathering in groups of up to dozens of heads. In the water, the sea otter is in its native element, swiftly (up to 12 16 km / h), dives deeply, sports. California sea otters have a remarkable ability to use stones (weighing up to 3,5 kg) for opening mollusk shells, breaking crabs and sea urchins. The calan puts the stone in the folds on the chest and methodically strikes it with its prey until it breaks the shell or shell. Sometimes he often uses the same stone a lot, keeping it under his arm. The sea otter mainly feeds on sea urchins, all kinds of shellfish, fish, starfish, crabs, algae. He grasps the extraction with his teeth and front paws, presses to his chest, and when he comes up, he lies down on his back and places the food in the folds of the hide. From here he takes one hedgehog after another, paws and teeth breaks the needles, gnaws the shell and eats away soft tissues. Mating is not confined to a certain season, but in some areas it is more often observed in the spring. After 89 months of pregnancy the female brings one calf. Twins are a rarity. The calf is born already sighted, wearing wool, has 26 teeth, its mass about 1,5 kg. Females are very careful about their offspring. It is especially touching to see how a female, swimming on her back, takes the cub with her front paws and caresses it. At the age of 23 weeks young animals begin to swim on their own. By the year they reach a mass of 1719 kg. Sexual maturity occurs in the third year of life, but many die at a young age. In general, mortality among sea otters is very high. As a result of protection, the number of sea otters, as we have seen, has increased noticeably, but still many times behind the previous one, which determines the need for further protection. Attempts were made to keep sea otters in cages, as well as acclimatization on the Murmansk coast of the Barents Sea, but these experiments did not yield definite results.
Sea mammal sea otter. The species range covers the island ridges and part of the continental coast of the northern half of the Pacific Ocean along which the northern cold and southern warm currents pass. The species "book" name of the beast is from the Koryak Kalak. The real Russian always was the name of the sea beaver or the Kamchatka beaver, so it was called Russian fishermen and sailors since the XVIII century. Hence the old Russian name of the Bering Sea, where this beast lives, the Beaver Sea. However, it is obvious that this predatory animal has nothing to do with the river beaver a rodent inhabiting the river banks in Europe and North America. Sometimes the sea otter is also called the sea otter, to distinguish from the river, which is closer to the truth. The sea otter's fur is unique in its properties. It is not particularly tall, but exceptionally thick, soft, silky. Fur and feather hair of approximately the same length about 2-3 centimeters all over the trunk. The density of the fur is so great that it does not get wet and does not let water pass to the skin. It is amazing that in the beast, unlike other warm-blooded inhabitants of cold waters, the subcutaneous fat layer is very thin, so the fur is the only thing that protects it from cooling. But the insulating properties of the shade of the fur coat retains, while it is clear: when it gets dirty, water penetrates under the hair, the beast quickly overcools and dies. The general color of the fur cover is often dark brown, somewhat lighter on the head. In older individuals, a part of the hair turns white, a silvery patina of gray develops on the fur. The sea shark's coastal waters and steep stony beaches, barrier reefs, underwater and above-water stones with extensive accumulations of sea kale (laminaria and alaria) develop. The thickets of their tangled leaves on the water surface are of great importance in the life of sea otters: covering up to half of the coastal water area, they extinguish excitement, serve as a resting place for animals, provide shelter from killer whales. Calans often gather on rocky capes and braids, the narrow extremities of the peninsulas here in stormy weather you can quickly move from the windward side to where the water is calmer. They avoid places with a more leveled shoreline and sandy or pebble beach-lida: there is no escape from the elements or people, and it's quite difficult to leave the beach because of the high surf. A lot of time the kalan devotes toilet, cleaning the fur from the slightest dirt. Lying on the water in his usual pose, he combs his forelegs with a coat of hair, as though massaging the chest and belly, head, back of the head, back hocks one by one. After eating, the sea otter must make one after another somersaults in the water, turn the screw, rinsing the remains of food and mucus from the hair. Perhaps this is also related to this unusual behavior of the sea otter: curled in the ring and taking the tail with the front paws, the beast rotates for a long time in water in a vertical plane. The mass hunting of this sea animal for the sake of fur began in the mid-18th century, when a white man led by greed came to the Far East. The sea otters began to be harvested in mass for the sake of one thing only the skins were beaten with sticks on the shore, they fired, they put the nets in the water. Particularly active was the famous Russian-American company, which controlled almost the entire fishery in this region. Only on the Pribilof Islands, by its efforts, several thousand otters were extracted annually, so only a few decades after the appearance of fishers on this archipelago, because of the predatory activity of man, the beast became so small that its production ceased to yield profit.
Kala # 769; n (Morskoy # 769; s beaver, Kamcha # 769; beaver, Morsk # 769; I you # 769; dra, lat. Enhydra lutris) predatory marine mammal of the family of cunies, close relative of otters. Kalan has a number of unique features of adaptation to the marine habitat, and is also one of the few non-primitive animals using 1 tools. Calans live on the northern shores of the Pacific Ocean in Russia, Japan, the USA and Canada. In the XVIIIXIX centuries, sea otters, because of their valuable fur, were subjected to the ruthless extermination of 23 and in the 20th century were listed in the Red Book of Russia, as well as in the protection documents of other countries. Currently hunting for sea otters is prohibited in all regions of the world.